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July 15, 2019

U-M files brief supporting race as a factor in admissions at U. Texas

November 3, 2015

U-M files brief supporting race as a factor in admissions at U. Texas

Topic: Campus News

The University of Michigan on Monday filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the University of Texas at Austin in a case challenging the use of race in its admission process.

While the outcome of the case at the Supreme Court will have no direct impact on U-M — because of the state of Michigan's constitutional ban on the use of race in college admissions — the "limited consideration of race, as one factor among many in a holistic and individualized admissions program, is necessary to attain the educational benefits of student-body diversity," according to General Counsel Timothy G. Lynch, an author of the brief.  

The brief was filed in the case of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, which the nation’s high court is scheduled to hear Dec. 9. The case is back at the Supreme Court after justices ruled in 2013 that a lower court was too deferential in accepting Texas's arguments in favor of considering race in its admission process.  

The U-M brief explains that "informed by decades of research and teaching experience, the University of Michigan is firmly convinced of the educational benefits of racial diversity as one component of a broadly diverse student body."

Additionally, the university asserts that "public universities have a special role and responsibility … because they receive public funding and represent the training ground for a large number of our nation’s leaders."

Comments

Vincent Hoeft
on 11/04/15 at 2:48 am

I couldn't disagree more with your arguments. Racial diversity should NEVER be considered as part of the admission process. Also this argument states multiple times the "cultural diversity promoted new ideas from people with various backgrounds" yet doesn't provide and tangible evidence of exactly how that is so, or how it would be different if the "cultural diversity" didn't exist. The roll the University has to the community it serves, is to educate the community in which it resides. The diversity at the U of M does not reflect the various percentages of different races or cultures in the state of Michigan. (i.e. Michigan does not have the amount of Asian population that the U of M student body has, Nor is the African American student body reflect the percentage of A-A living in Michigan) Thus said...the U of M sets a very poor president attempting to consider race in any part of the admission process. Race should NEVER be a consideration under ANY circumstance. Doing so could open up massive discrimination suits from any and every race, as it should. Admission to a public university should be based solely on academic achievement, not race, sex, sexuality, ability to pay, culture, minority status, marital status, age, or anything else. That is why proposal 2 passed. It is anti-discrimination law. You're attempting to change that. I hope the Supreme court holds up the current law and continues to prohibit this university from discriminating against folks who are qualified for admission based on there academics rather than the color of ones skin. If not, than why bother asking for high school transcripts? How do you know someone who didn't underachieve in high school couldn't over achieve in college? What would be the point in grades and GPA's. Diversity would/should also include those with slower learning skills, or inability to understand concepts. But I'm sure the University isn't about to admit a student with a 2.0 GPA. Now you're making the argument that the university might consider a 2.0 GPA student, as long as they are non-white and might possibly come from a different country. Shame on you!

Emily Zacek
on 11/06/15 at 9:42 am

"Also this argument states multiple times the "cultural diversity promoted new ideas from people with various backgrounds" yet doesn't provide and tangible evidence of exactly how that is so, or how it would be different if the "cultural diversity" didn't exist."

@Vincent Hoeft: Here's a link to The Case For Diversity, an article from LSA Magazine that provides a brief overview of Professor Page's (UM professor of complex systems, poli sci, and econ) research showing, quantitatively, the benefits of diverse spaces as related to problem solving. It's just the sparknotes version, but serves as a good jumping off point to find scholarly papers and other research related to the subject: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/lsa/archives/ci.thecasefordiversity_ci.detail

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