The number of black and Hispanic freshmen is expected to drop by 52 percent as the post-affirmative action era gets under way this fall at the University of California, Berk-eley.

Of the 3,660 new students who intend to enroll at the state's flagship university, 264 will be Hispanic; 98 will be black. Including American Indians, the total of underrepresented minorities expected to enroll is 376, down from 776 last year."This is really appalling," said June Jordan, Berkeley professor of African-American studies and an opponent of UC's new policies dropping race and gender from admissions.

On the other side of the issue, American Civil Rights Institute spokesman Glenn Buberl said it is time to "get past the debate on preferences and start working to reform (public schools) and make these kids qualified."

UC classified blacks, Hispanics and American Indians as underrepresented minorities.