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University of Michigan to alter admissions for Proposal 2 November 29, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in admissions, affirmative action, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, Racism, Racist, reverse racism.
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The University of Michigan will remove consideration of race and gender from undergraduate admissions by the effective date of Proposal 2, the voter-approved ballot question banning some affirmative action programs.

U-M Provost Teresa Sullivan, speaking before the university’s faculty Senate Assembly on Monday, said the changes will be in place if Proposal 2 takes effect Dec. 22 as scheduled.

A pro-affirmative action group, By Any Means Necessary, has filed a federal lawsuit challenging Proposal 2 as unconstitutional. However, legal experts and Proposal 2 supporters have noted that similar challenges in other states have failed, meaning the amendment, approved by 58 percent of voters in the Nov. 7 election, will likely take effect as mandated, 45 days after the vote.

Sullivan told faculty Monday that a group of U-M officials reporting to undergraduate admissions and the provost’s office will help in making immediate “tactical” decisions regarding the admissions process.

Some of the questions, admissions officers say, include how to continue to keep track of applicants’ race and gender information, which is mandated by the federal government, while keeping it out of the hands of the readers who judge the applications.

Many high school seniors won’t apply until after Proposal 2 takes effect. But U-M has a rolling admissions process and some already have applied. That raises a question if those applicants don’t submit all of the required supporting paperwork – such as letters of recommendation and transcripts – before the ballot question’s implementation date. U-M needs to decide whether to judge those applications under the pre- or post-Proposal 2 criteria, Sullivan said.

Although U-M President Mary Sue Coleman initially said U-M might challenge the legality of Proposal 2, or ask for an injunction delaying its implementation for the current admission cycle that is already under way, she and other U-M officials have more recently moderated their remarks on possible legal action.

U-M General Counsel Marvin Krislov, speaking before the faculty senate Monday, said he couldn’t provide details on U-M’s next steps, but said he believes Proposal 2’s interpretation eventually will be decided by the courts.

Afterwards, Krislov said he couldn’t comment on when – or if – U-M will take legal action.

“All I can say is that we are working very hard to try and interpret the law in the best way,” Krislov said in front of the faculty. “And we are committed, of course, to complying with the law, because that is something that we must, of course, do.”

Sullivan said a new task force announced last week, called Diversity Blueprints, will hold several forums on campus to develop “new approaches” to sustaining and enhancing diversity on campus. Since it was announced by Coleman last Tuesday, the task force’s e-mail account has received 250 messages, Sullivan said.

Among its jobs will be to look at outreach efforts for prospective students. Sullivan said she’d like to do a better job convincing in-state students to apply and, if admitted, to enroll at U-M.

“We know some of the best students in the state of Michigan, both minority and majority, go out of state to go to school,” she said.

On the day after the Proposal 2 vote, Coleman told a crowd on The Diag that she had serious questions as to whether it was lawful as it relates to higher education and said she had directed U-M’s lawyers to immediately begin exploring legal action. She also said U-M would consider asking the courts to allow U-M to use existing methods on its current admissions cycle for next fall’s classes, saying it would be “unfair and wrong” to review applications using two sets of criteria.

Proposal 2 bans race and gender preferences in public education, public hiring and the awarding of public contracts.

C.a.r.d{Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination} Source: Mlive.com

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