Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Prop 2, It Isn't Over

13. November 2006 • Ari Paul
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The Michigan Daily has the story:

University President Mary Sue Coleman pledged yesterday that the University would fight the implementation of Proposal 2 in the courts.

A defiant Coleman addressed thousands who gathered on the Diag about the potential impact of the constitutional amendment that will ban affirmative action programs in Michigan.

The administration’s immediate concern is trying to delay the implementation of the amendment so all of this year’s applicants will be evaluated under the same admissions guidelines. The constitutional amendment will likely take effect in late December; depending on the date the Secretary of State certifies the election results. If this happens, the University would be forced to change its admissions policies halfway through the admissions cycle – a scenario the administration desperately wants to avoid.



  1. It is over, and if the University President can’t abide by the law, then she can pack her bags too!


       —Everybody counts!    Nov. 13 '06 - 07:45PM    #
  2. I assume “Everybody Counts” will be pushing a crash remedial education program, and a massive recruitment effort in Detroit, Flint, and Lansing, to quadruple Black enrollment at U-M within a year.

    Her name is “Everybody Counts!”, right?

    - not “Everybody Drowns”.


       —Redress    Nov. 13 '06 - 07:54PM    #
  3. I assume ‘Everybody Counts’ will be pushing a crash remedial education program, and a massive recruitment effort in Detroit, Flint, and Lansing, to quadruple Black enrollment at U-M within a year.

    I didn’t support or vote for 2, but realize — affirmative action at UM wasn’t doing anything at all for 99% plus of the thousands of black students graduating every year (or, too often, not graduating) from high schools in Detroit, Flint, and Lansing.

    I would love to see the UM launch a program to aid ambitious, underprivileged K-12 students in Michigan’s cities. Such an effort might raise UM’s minority numbers, but — more importantly — in the process help many times more students who ‘only’ end up graduating from MSU, WSU, or EMU.

    So far, Coleman’s concern seems rather parochial — if UM enrolls enough minorities to make its student body look diverse, then it’s job done (however far behind those minority freshman are, nor however poorly the other 99% of minority 18-year-olds in Michigan fare).

    Maybe Coleman’s administration will launch such a effort when she gets done with the lawsuits. Last I checked, Michigan has a School of Ed over on East University. Go over there and make a speech. Challenge them to come up with a program. And pull some dollars out of the massive endowment to work on human capital rather than yet another campus construction site.


       —mw    Nov. 13 '06 - 08:34PM    #
  4. Well said, MW.


       —Patrick Hunt    Nov. 13 '06 - 08:41PM    #
  5. Redress, we started to have this conversation over at another topic…also about Prop 2. Why should the university need remedial programs? Shouldn’t k-12 schools prepare kids for college? I think AA let’s a lot of people off the hook learning that isn’t taking place in K-12 schools.


       —Just a homeowner    Nov. 13 '06 - 08:55PM    #
  6. This was in our inboxes today:

    Date: November 13, 2006 5:24:41 PM GMT-05:00
    Subject: FW: UM Hiring and Affirmative Action

    Just a quick FYI........It was announced at the HRCG (Human Resources Communications Group) meeting on Friday, that the University of Michigan will continue to use the same affirmative action policies we have been using in employment & hiring. Because we are a federal contractor, we are exempted from the Prop 2 ban on the use of affirmative action in hiring, since federal law trumps state law.


       —MattH    Nov. 14 '06 - 01:40AM    #
  7. Comment 6 provides definite food for legal thought.


       —David Cahill    Nov. 14 '06 - 02:14AM    #
  8. “I would love to see the UM launch a program to aid ambitious, underprivileged K-12 students in Michigan’s cities. Such an effort might raise UM’s minority numbers, but — more importantly — in the process help many times more students who ‘only’ end up graduating from MSU, WSU, or EMU.”

    As I mentioned in another thread: This is a fine thought, but it isn’t the University’s responsibility. Its the state’s responsibility, and the state seems far more interested in equalizing undergraduate admissions than it is in equalizing K-12 education.


       —Daniel Adams    Nov. 14 '06 - 02:47AM    #
  9. “Because we are a federal contractor, we are exempted from the Prop 2 ban on the use of affirmative action in hiring, since federal law trumps state law.”

    I wonder how true that statement is? If a particular federal program requires the use of AA, I’m sure there’s an argument to be made that the federal requirement would trump Prop 2 (although one might also argue that Prop 2 would require the U to not participate in that program). But there’s no general requirement in federal law for the use of AA so where it’s not required, the U doesn’t seem to have a legal leg to stand on.


       —John Q.    Nov. 14 '06 - 07:07AM    #
  10. I think the U’s statement is true. There is an article about this in the current issue of Business Review.


       —David Cahill    Nov. 17 '06 - 02:35PM    #
  11. David,

    With all due respect, I think John Q.‘s point about federal REQUIREMENT is closer to the law than yours. Of course, you’re an attorney (although I don’t think this is your specialty) and I’m not and I don’t give legal advice, but I’m pretty confident about this one. MCRI’s language only exempts Michigan government when the federal government requires as a condition of the grant a preference. I’d be hard pressed to name any federal grant that requires preference.

    Now, certainly, U-M hiring and contracting “affirmative action” may not involve actual preferences, which would effectively allow it to go unchanged. There is a difference between preference and AA, as we have said all along. But the simple statement that because U-M is a federal contractor (in some areas) gives it a blanket exemption for all its hiring is misguided and unsound legally, in my non-legal opinion.

    Oh, and #2, I concur with such programs. Let’s get Mary Sue focused on them!


       —Chetly Zarko    Nov. 22 '06 - 04:08AM    #