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Posted on Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 2:12 p.m.

Jennifer Gratz considers run for U-M Board of Regents

By Amy Biolchini

Anti-affirmative action activist Jennifer Gratz is considering running for a seat on the University of Michigan's Board of Regents, the Detroit News reported.

Gratz has been working across the country to push for the end of affirmative action as a factor in admission decisions at higher education institutions and in public hiring processes.


Jennifer Gratz

The U.S. Supreme Court declared U-M's admissions policy of giving points to racial minority students unconstitutional in 2003 as a result of a 1997 lawsuit in which Gratz was one of two lead plaintiffs. Gratz was also a leader in the effort to pass a constitutional change in Michigan banning the use of race and gender preferences in public hiring.

“I recall there being some sort of exclamation that proponents of (the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative) should have lobbied the Regents to change policy rather than pushing a constitutional amendment — that voters, nor the legislature, nor the governor, nor the constitution had any say in the matter,” Gratz told the Detroit News. “With that line of thinking, it made me think to myself — if the only way to change policy is through the board of regents, then we may want to start focusing on who makes up these governing boards.”

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.



Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:40 p.m.

In all of the discussion about Ms. Gratz and the preference given minority candidates, I seldom see a discussion of: 1) her grade point average and scores, which I believe/remember were both mediocre; 2) the number of minority students -- however defined -- with lower gpa and scores than her who were admitted (I've literally NEVER seen this figure, nor an explanation of why, if our "system" is just, minorities are represented at a level that is roughly 1/3 of their representation in the broader population); 3) a convincing argument that she would have brought anything extra to the party; 4) a convincing argument as to why anybody with a lower gpa/score would NOT bring something different to the party; 5) an explanation of why she couldn't be bothered to submit a request to join the wait list at Michigan. To sum up: 1) she wasn't a viable candidate; 2) she didn't avail herself of every opportunity to join the class by applying to the wait list; 3) given the first two points, the only convincing reason to have admitted her would have been because she was willing to take what she so vehemently seeks to deny to others: some form or privilege or preference. She wasn't accepted based on her merit and wants to use some form of due process to get what she didn't get under the system as constituted. I don't see that quest as contrary to the social contract, but it is immensely hypocritical.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 4:27 p.m.

Applause, applause.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:19 p.m.

If she does not win election, who will she blame?

Jaime Magiera

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 4:10 a.m.

snow cone. chance. hell.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2 a.m.

Well, in lieu of affirmative action I suppose Non-slave descendents could give up at least 40 acres of prime real estate in FLorida/A2 and a new Tesla.. How Republican is she ?


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:45 a.m.

Her candidacy ought to be quite interesting. Usually candidates for the Board of Regents at Michigan, MSU, or Wayne State never draw this much attention. The winner is usually the beneficiary of a "Republican year" or a "Democratic year" regardless of how they campaigned because they ride in on the stronger party's coattails. If I were a betting man, I'd say (1) incumbent Governors are very hard to beat, (2) 2014 will be a difficult election for Obama to maintain enthusiasm now that he's in his sixth year, and (3) MI Democrats want to beat Snyder more than they want to elect Mark Schauer. That means, Snyder will probably win, and Gratz will win as a result of riding in on the Governor's coattails.

Basic Bob

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:21 a.m.

I always like to see the bottom 1% succeed by trying harder. That seems especially unlikely with her.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:01 a.m.

No one in this town is ready to vote for sanity at the U of M.

Jaime Magiera

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 4:09 a.m.

JBK, they are all Democrats. They all have weed, martinis and a Liberal agenda - thank God.

David Briegel

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:43 a.m.

Or, it's entirely possible that you two are the ones smoking illegal substances!


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:15 a.m.

Ric - My thoughts too until the recent City Council elections, AND then an EPIPHANY. I woke up and thought I was in Utopia. Ann Arbor voters put down their weed, martinis and Liberal agenda and actually kept Councilman Kunselman and voted in Jack Eaton. SO it is entirely possible that the voters come to their senses one more time and vote for someone that is asking for nothing more than a fair playing field for all. I know that is a bitter pill for some to swallow, but they will get over it.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:01 a.m.

I'm all for her candidacy -- after all, over the last three decades, we have seen an alarming increase in middle- and lower- class wages and life opportunity. The last thing we need is for these people to get even more of a leg up on the 1%.


Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 11:40 p.m.

Hmm, no thanks. As a member of the same cohort who managed to get into the "U" that year, I'd rather see another individual run who wasn't quite "on the margin" of admission.


Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 11:35 p.m.

Oh, this will be one vote, I make sure to vote for someone else.

Michigan Man

Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 11:33 p.m.

Little surprising that in Ann Arbor we would want merit, results, performance and no excuses over affirmative action and equal outcome. This woman has my vote or however many I can stuff into the ballot box!

Michigan Man

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:20 p.m.

Superior Township - Some in Ann Arbor just love hating on basically anything that is different, unique or innovative than the plantation thinking that they have had for decades - here is the good news - that gene pool is rather quickly disappearing.

Superior Twp voter

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 3:53 a.m.

Count on Briegel to pop in with more anti-Republican hate.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:45 a.m.

In terms of "merit," try to envision the hundreds of students that year who were admitted to the University solely on merit. Ms. Gratz wasn't *quite* one of them -

David Briegel

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:42 a.m.

The only known voter fraud is TeaPublicon voter fraud!

Usual Suspect

Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 11:12 p.m.

If an ambulance chaser can be a regent, anybody can. Following the insanity of allowing international trespassers to pay in-state tuition, we definitely need new voices on the Board.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:46 a.m.

To their credit, they do an awful lot of advertising. After all, Sam Bernstein worked for me -

Jay Thomas

Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 10:23 p.m.

What a dream... Get back here, Jennifer. Our current regents are fine with illegal aliens being admitted over Americans and legal applicants from other countries (and every other crazy liberal idea out there).


Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 10:19 p.m.


Colorado Sun

Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 9:52 p.m.

Jennifer Gratz was present at the Michigan Republican Convention in Detroit in May of 2012 and delivered one of the most impassioned speeches I have ever heard denouncing the candidacy of moderate GOP leader Saul Anuzis, who was running for a seat on the epublican National Committee. Even though Anuzis had been well-known in GOP circles as a longtime chairperson and had the support of the vast majority of Republican leaders, Gratz' speech criticizing Anuzis for lack of a position on her case struck a chord with delegates and they roundly booed him when he spoke. Anuzis ended up losing in a landslide delegate vote for the committee seat to ultraconservative Dave Agema.

Superior Twp voter

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 3:56 a.m.

Count on Briegal to pop in with more anti-Republican hate.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:50 a.m.

Highly unlikely Jennifer Gratz turned the tide for Saul Anuzis. It wasn't like Anuzis had it in the bag to begin with. It was anything but. Dave Agema stood a better chance of winning because he was anti-establishment, an anti-establishment has been a big thing in Republican circles since the mid 2000s.

Jay Thomas

Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 10:19 p.m.

That was great.

David Briegel

Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 10:05 p.m.

And that will help to seal the fate of the "crazy party"!!

J. A. Pieper

Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 9:28 p.m.

Knowing her history with our area, I wouldn't vote for her. Also don't like that she lives in florida, but has a condo here, that makes her an appropriate candidate?


Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 9:43 p.m.

It probably makes her ineligible to run. She'd have to move back to Michigan with the intent of making it her permanent residence (and become a registered voter) in order to become eligible, and then she'd have to be nominated by a political party to get on the ballot.

Charley Sullivan

Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 8:17 p.m.

Amy, what are the residency requirements to run for the Board of Regents?


Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 8:31 p.m.

From the Michigan Election Law: "A person shall not be eligible to membership on . . . the board of regents of the university of Michigan . . . if the person is not a registered and qualified elector of this state on the date the person is nominated for the office." "At its fall state convention each political party may nominate 2 candidates for membership on the board of regents of the University of Michigan. . . . Nomination to membership on the board of regents of the University of Michigan shall occur in 1966 and every second year thereafter."

bill s

Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 8:15 p.m.

I'm not sure Ms Gratz knows where she's at. Everyone from around here knows diversity is a one way street...

David Briegel

Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 11:08 p.m.

Because there's no such thing as White Privilege!


Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 8:14 p.m.

I welcome the diversity of opinions, let her run. Once most people hear her positions, I suspect they will decide to vote for someone else. Years ago we had the Wobblies running in Ann Arbor, I never voted for them, but I thought they had every right to run.

David Briegel

Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 8 p.m.

Just what we need, a single issue zealot.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:32 a.m.

Yes Jay, in the related context I think fixation on race consideration in the admissions process can be safely placed in the "single issue" category.

Jay Thomas

Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 10:17 p.m.

Is civil rights a "single issue?"

Dog Guy

Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 6:41 p.m.

What is her position on closing Main Street for football games?

An Arborigine

Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 8:49 p.m.

Guessing she wouldn't affirm that action either.


Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 6:28 p.m.

Does this "person" even live in MI? What are the rules for running for a "regent" in a state? For someone who was so offended that she didn't get to go to the "main" campus but had to go to another UM campus, why is she still hanging on? Wow...

Jay Thomas

Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 10:17 p.m.

The comments made here are quite condescending.


Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 9:21 p.m.

"Now we are putting "person" in quotes, as if whites don't qualify as real people? Wow." This is either a new definition of either "utter ignorance," "stupidity" or a clear example of "racist troll comments." How this comment got past the reviewers is amazing.

Amy Biolchini

Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 6:42 p.m.

Gratz lives in Florida but has a condo in Michigan, according to the Detroit News.