University of Michigan’s Admissions Policy
Still an Issue for Regents’ Election
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.
More than a year has passed since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the University of Michigan’s undergraduate admissions policy as too formulaic because it awarded points based on race.
But the decision remains an important issue to several people running in the Nov. 2 election for two seats coming open on the school’s board of regents.
Two seats each also are opening on the Michigan State University board of trustees and the Wayne State University board of governors. The top two vote-getters in each of the three races will win. Each term runs eight years.
Michigan State’s is the only board controlled by Republicans, who outnumber Democrats 5-3. Democrats hold a 5-3 edge over Republicans on the other two boards.
On the University of Michigan board, the two seats up for election are held by Democrats Olivia Maynard and S. Martin Taylor. Both are seeking re-election and hoping to fend off eight other candidates: Republicans Patrick Anderson and Carl Meyers; Libertarians Michael Corliss and James Lewis Hudler; Nathaniel Damren of the Green Party; Mary Debusschere of the Natural Law Party; and Karen Adams and Joe Sanger, both of the U.S. Taxpayers Party.
Maynard, 68, of Goodrich says the two Republicans “have platforms that are against affirmative action.”
“Now that the court has affirmed diversity in terms of education, it’s really important that we make that decision work,” says Maynard, president of The Michigan Prospect for Renewed Citizenship, a Flint-based think tank.
“We don’t want to look back 25 years from now and say that we had this decision and then we just sort of let it sit there.”
The high court in June 2003 upheld a general affirmative action policy in place at the university’s law school while declaring its undergraduate formula to be too rigid. In response, the University of Michigan adopted a new undergraduate application that still considers race, but does not award points (see Black Issues, April 24, 2003).
“The platform we’re on, where we actually have a statement, is that we are for accountability,” Anderson says, also speaking on Meyers’ behalf. “We’ll insist on a vote on the admissions policy, which the incumbents did not have during the entire debacle of the losing Supreme Court cases.”
— Associated Press
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