Software developed at AU supports race-conscious admissions and school placement policies

Juan Gilbert
Juan Gilbert

AUBURN – Applications Quest, a timely new software package developed by Juan Gilbert, Total System Services distinguished professor at Auburn University, promises to solve one of the nation’s most vexing civil rights problems – how to legally and equitably enact diversity programs.

For colleges and universities the new program could not have come at a better time, given Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision involving the use of race in assigning students to schools in Louisville, Ky. and Seattle.

For information about the Supreme Court ruling, go to

Applications Quest utilizes a user-friendly set of mathematical algorithms that eliminates the often stated concern that a single factor, usually race, dominates an admissions, employment or secondary school assignment. It will also allow schools and employers to make decisions based on their own objectives, missions and goals.

“Consistent with the recent Supreme Court ruling, Applications Quest is designed in a way that can help colleges, universities and other organizations achieve diverse outcomes,” said Gilbert. “After the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision in the University of Michigan cases on affirmative action, which was not overruled in today’s decision, I noticed that both sides claimed victory. When this occurred, I decided to take action to solve this problem.

“Applications Quest is not a compromise to this problem,” he continues. “It’s a solution. All people want fair, transparent, yet equitable admissions, employment and assignment policies and practices that adhere to the law. At the same time, they don’t want to discriminate or be discriminated against by the use of race, gender, national origin or any other characteristic. Applications Quest is the answer.”

Already beta tested at several leading universities and organizations throughout the United States, Applications Quest is now available for use.

“We have been impressed with the Applications Quest capabilities, specifically the holistic review process,” said AU’s dean of enrollment management, Wayne Alderman. The process allows fair and objective admission evaluations.”

For more information on the Application’s Quest tool visit or contact Gilbert at (334)844.6316 or

Contact: Cheryl Cobb, (334) 844-2220 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (