This Symposium is very timely in a number of ways. It is an occasion for us to think through again the role of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, to reflect on what they have contributed in the past, but perhaps more important, to begin to plan for the role they will play in the United States in the future. That role may be somewhat different from the one that they have played in the past. Certainly, the nation's changing attitudes towards race, gender and affirmative action at this time provides a certain urgency to the task of establishing the future role of black colleges and universitie.

These prospective changes in the public's attitudes toward affirmative action and race-based programs generally are felt quite acutely in California. Although this issue is now discussed nationwide, it's more visible manifestation began in California, as many things do, good and bad. California may be the first state to have a public referendum on whether or not