- Published on Feb 12, 2007
ANN ARBOR, Mich.The following statement was released today (Jan. 10) by Teresa A. Sullivan, University of Michigan provost and executive vice president for academic affairs:
"In response to lawsuits filed against us, the University of Michigan sought a stay to admit our fall 2007 class using the procedures we announced in summer 2006. We believed an abrupt change in our admissions review process would be chaotic and inherently unfair for our applicants, and we remain concerned about these issues. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit lifted the stay while a related appeal continues, and that process could take several months or more to resolve.
"We cannot sustain any further delay in our admissions process without harming our ability to enroll a class of students for the 2007-08 academic year. Our overriding concern is enrolling a strong incoming class, both at the undergraduate level and in our graduate and professional programs. Additional delays may cause us to lose applicants, or make it harder for us to enroll the outstanding students we have admitted.
"Therefore, we are resuming the admissions process today (Jan. 10) at all levels of the University. As stated in the language of Proposal 2, our admissions and financial aid processes will not discriminate against, nor grant preferential treatment to, any individual on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin. Of course, we will recognize exceptions provided in the amendment including one for federally-funded programs.
"It is important to emphasize that there remains uncertainty about how Proposal 2 will be interpreted and applied by the courts. However, because of the Sixth Circuit decision and in the absence of further guidance from the courts, we will proceed cautiously by adjusting our admissions and financial aid policies such that race and gender will have no effect on the decision-making process. We take these actions with regret, because we believe it would be fairer to applicants for us to wait until after the conclusion of the current cycle before making any changes.
"The University of Michigan has been named as a defendant in a number of Proposal 2-related lawsuits. The lawsuits in the state and federal courts will proceed, and we will defend ourselves against those challenges as well as any others that may arise. After February we will have benefit of Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm's executive order review to provide further guidance and clarity. Our Diversity Blueprints task force is hard at work developing innovative strategies for pursuing diversity within these new constraints, and will deliver its initial recommendations to the president by Feb. 15.
"When admitting students to U-M, our focus has always been first and foremost on academic excellence. By far the greatest consideration in undergraduate admissions is given to the student's academic achievement in challenging, college-preparatory courses. In addition, we will continue to consider a range of attributes that contribute to a dynamic and diverse intellectual environment, including: the student's character and motivation; interesting personal experiences; special talents and abilities; geographic diversity; civic engagement and concern for community; demonstrated ability to overcome obstacles; leadership potential; grasp of world events; intellectual interests; and socioeconomic indicators such as low income or being the first in the family to attend college, or attendance at a disadvantaged school.
"As the admissions cycle proceeds, we strongly encourage prospective students to apply to the University of Michigan prior to the appropriate admissions deadline (Feb. 1 for undergraduate admissions). We welcome all students who have achieved academic success and who believe they can contribute to our diverse, dynamic and extraordinary learning environment.
"The University will continue to meet the full financial need of Michigan resident undergraduate students with a financial aid package of grants, loans and work-study. In addition, we offer considerable financial aid for nonresidents and graduate students. We will continue to honor all financial aid commitments made to our current students, including those commitments made to students admitted on or before Dec. 29, 2006. Any students with questions or concerns about financial aid should contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance.
"The University of Michigan is a national leader in diversity and we remain fully committed to building a campus made up of individuals of varied backgrounds and perspectives. Our diversity increases the quality of our teaching and learning, our scholarship and our creative endeavors. Although Proposal 2 removes some tools available to public institutions, we can still seek diversity in our student body, staff and faculty.
"The University of Michigan is a dedicated and creative community, and we will seek innovative new ways to sustain our diversity within the boundaries of the law. We must keep the doors of opportunity open for all."
Questions and Answers Regarding Proposal 2