GM Backs U Mich. Minority Admissions

GM Backs U Mich. Minority Admissions

General Motors Corp. is publicly supporting the University of Michigan’s minority admissions programs, the subject of two federal class-action lawsuits.
Eliminating affirmative action would deprive businesses of well-trained minority candidates and reduce campus diversity, GM officials said in a friend-of-the-court brief filed last month in U.S. District Court.
Two 1997 lawsuits allege the university’s admissions policies discriminate against Whites in favor of less-qualified minorities. A case over undergraduate admissions is set for trial this fall, while one regarding law school admissions is set for January.
“What we are doing is supporting the policy of the university that will encourage a very diverse student body that ultimately is to the advantage of America and American businesses,” GM Vice President Harry J. Pearce says.
About 23 percent of GM’s 193,000 U.S. employees are minorities.
Michigan’s president, Dr. Lee Bollinger, praises GM’s intervention.
“What is at issue in these cases is of central importance, not only to every selective university in the country, but also to every other major institution in the country, not the least of which is business,” Bollinger says.
The Washington, D.C.-based Center for Individual Rights filed the lawsuits on behalf of White students who were not admitted to the Ann Arbor campus.
“As a large corporation that has to worry about their public image, I don’t blame them for coming down on the politically correct side,” Center for Individual Rights attorney Curt Levey says of GM.   



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