Affirmative action was banned at two of the top universities. They say they need it.

Author: Yuvi August 26, 2022  Affirmative action was banned at two of the top universities.  They say they need it.

It has been more than 15 years since two of the nation’s top public university systems, the University of Michigan and the University of California, were forced to stop using affirmative action in admissions.

Since then, both systems have sought to build racially diverse student bodies into the hundreds of millions of dollars through extensive outreach and major financial investments.

Those efforts have fallen short, universities admitted in two amicus briefs filed in the Supreme Court this month, set to consider the future of affirmative action in college admissions this fall.

In the data points: In 2021, the new class entering the University of California, Berkeley included 258 black students and 27 Native American students out of a class of 6,931. That same year, Black enrollment at Michigan’s flagship campus in Ann Arbor was 4 percent, even as the university maintained a special admissions office in Detroit to recruit Black students.

Outreach programs are extremely expensive. The University of California system says it has spent more than half a billion dollars since 2004 to increase diversity among its students.

In short, lawyers for universities argue that, without affirmative action, it is nearly impossible to achieve racial diversity in highly selective universities.

Michigan’s brief stated, “Despite persistent, vigorous and diverse efforts to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of the student body through caste-neutral means,” the admissions and admissions of minority students to many of U-M’s schools and colleges have been Enrollment has dropped sharply. “Since the end of affirmative action.

Yale Law School professor Justin Driver said the stories in California and Michigan reflect the repercussions that banning affirmative action in admissions can have.

“Despite incredibly brave, relentless efforts to navigate the realities of a post-affirmative action world, major campuses in California and Michigan have failed to enroll members of marginalized racial groups,” said Mr. , who is considered an expert. Impact of High Court Education Decisions

The Supreme Court is scheduled for October 31 to hear lawsuits brought by the anti-firmative action organization Students for Fair Admissions, challenging the race-conscious methods Harvard and the University of North Carolina used to select the new class. give.

The organization says Harvard discriminates against Asian Americans and promotes admission to North Carolina underserved racial minorities. And the group argues in its own brief, filed this week, that ending affirmative action nationwide would help improve diversity at the University of California and the University of Michigan, “because they can better compete with those universities.” who currently use race.”

Affirmative action cases could vitiate a 40-year precedent, with a recent Supreme Court ruling that says race can be considered a factor in determining university admissions.

Such a change could have important implications for universities, many of which have argued that diverse environments enhance learning by exposing students to different perspectives.

Affirmative action is banned by local order in nine states, including Michigan and California. Some states without affirmative action programs, such as Oklahoma, have briefly taken the opposite position in court, arguing that the University of Oklahoma is “as diverse (if not more so) as it is today) when Oklahoma banned affirmative action in 2012. gave.” Thirteen other states joined the Oklahoma brief.

According to data released by the university, Oklahoma’s freshman class in 2020 was 61 percent white, 12 percent Hispanic, 3.7 percent black and 2.1 percent American Indian. The state brief states that a large number of students identified as “two or more races” and that those who were part of the Blacks would increase the number of Blacks to more than 6 percent. Black residents make up 7.8 percent of the state’s population.

A brief, filed last year by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, favors fair admissions for students, arguing against race-conscious admissions, even though the University of Texas uses one of those forms.

The brief criticizes not only affirmative action, but diversity as well, stating, “Indeed, the very justification for ‘diversity’ requires aggressive racial stereotypes.”

Michigan and California are both known for having high-end schools that receive thousands of applications from across the country. With highly competitive admissions, applicants from underrepresented groups face high barriers to enrollment.

At the University of Michigan, a voter referendum known as Proposition 2, the Affirmative Action Initiative, was adopted in 2006, resulting in a state constitutional ban on race-conscious admission. This prompted a sharp drop in enrollment of black and Native American students. Since then, Michigan has worked to diversify its student body through outreach programs.

These include a college advising Michigan’s young alumni, as well as a recruiting office in nearby Detroit, a predominantly black city. Additional incentives include generous scholarships.

Calling Proposition 2 an “involuntary experiment” imposed on the university and acknowledging that it has damaged its diversity profile, Rick Fitzgerald, a spokesman for Michigan, described the university’s experience as a “cautionary story”. which underscore the compelling need for select universities. Be able to consider race as one of several background factors regarding applicants.”

Black undergraduate enrollment declined to 4 percent in 2021, from 7 percent in 2006, summarized, even as the overall percentage of college-age African Americans in Michigan rose from 16 percent to 19 percent . At the same time, Native American enrollment, once as high as 1 percent, fell to 0.11 percent in 2021, the brief said.

What’s more, fully one-quarter of underrepresented students felt they didn’t “belong” to Michigan, a 66 percent increase over a decade, the summary said.

At Michigan’s Ross School of Business, Rita Brooks was one of 74 black students out of 2,421 undergraduates enrolled in 2021.

“While I am grateful for the incredible resources and education, it is hard to ignore the isolation I felt in a classroom setting where you are one of the most two black students,” said Ms. Brooks, who is from the Detroit area.

Some prospective students have said that they see low undergraduate Black enrollment in Michigan as a reason to go elsewhere, showing how the lower numbers could further inhibit enrollment of students of color.

Ania Caldwell, of Jackson, Michigan, was president of her high school’s National Honor Society in 2020, but opted to attend Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, DC.

“Diversity is very low at the University of Michigan,” Ms Caldwell said in a LinkedIn message. “Overall, I chose to go to Howard because I knew I would be surrounded by people of color and not have to worry about additional racism and discrimination.”

In California, Proposition 209 was adopted in 1996, placing restrictions on racial preferences in entry. By the fall of 2006, the University of California, Los Angeles had 96 black students in a freshman class of about 5,000.

The black enrollment figure was so low that it shocked the UCLA community, resulting in the group’s nickname – the “Infamous 96”.

Since then, the enrollment of underserved minorities in the California system has partially recovered. UCLA’s Black enrollment, for example, dropped from 7 percent in 1998 to 3.43 percent before the adoption of Proposition 209. By 2019, it had increased to 5.98 per cent. California’s population is 6.5 percent black.

But lawyers for the University of California system describe an uphill battle to achieve diversity, especially in the most highly selective schools.

While 52 percent of California public high school students identify as Hispanic, 15 percent of freshmen in Berkeley identify as Hispanic, a figure that totals 25 percent across the system’s nine campuses.

“Many students from minority groups, especially on UC’s most selective campuses, will often find themselves the only student of their race in the class,” the brief said.

Olufemi Ogundale, dean of graduate admissions at Berkeley, said he was “incredibly proud” of the school’s progress in admissions despite the race ban. But he continued, “There is no doubt in my mind that if we were able to consider the whole human or the whole student, we would be making much more significant progress.”

At the University of California, San Diego, another select school in the system, 3 percent of graduate students are black, and some of them have complained about racist incidents.

The brief focused only on the University system of California, according to another brief filed in court by a group of California civil rights and legal organizations, with other four-year public colleges in California also declining in diversity.

As of 2018, the percentage of black students enrolled at California State University has fallen from 8 percent to 4 percent, about half what it was in 1997, the brief states.

Native American students enrolled on any campus of California State University’s system fell from 0.2% in 2018 to 1.23 percent in 1995.

Author: Yuvi

My name is Yuvi, I work as Sub Editor at

26 August, 2022, 10:19 pm

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