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Posted on Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

University of Michigan faculty call for greater focus on campus diversity

By Kellie Woodhouse

The University of Michigan faculty government is calling on the administration to improve student diversity at the school.

Faculty noted that there haven't been increases in minority enrollment over the past 18 years, and in the case of black students there has been a "precipitous drop."


University of Michigan

Underrepresented minorities make up 10 percent of the Ann Arbor school's freshman class, a decrease from last year, and faculty say they want to see U-M enroll a more diverse student body.

In a resolution passed by a 28-9 vote Monday , the faculty Senate Assembly called on administrators to pour more resources into achieving diversity and determine the cause of the lack of diversity on campus. They also encouraged U-M to broaden the scope of diversity beyond race to include sexual orientation, disabilities and marital status.

According to figures obtained by the faculty senate, 5 percent of U-M students enrolled in 2012-13 are black, 13.7 percent Asian, 0.2 percent Native American and 4.6 percent Latino.

In 2001, 8.8 percent of the student body was black, 13.8 percent were Asian, 0.7 percent were Native American and 4.7 percent were Latino.

U-M's legal team fought for affirmative action before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003 in Grutter v. Bollinger, which upheld considering race in admissions as long as quotas aren't attached, but in 2006 Michigan voters passed a ban forbidding state universities from using affirmative action. Since then the school has not considered race in admissions.

Mary Sue Coleman, U-M president, has said she remains supportive of affirmative action. The legality of the 2006 voter-approved ban will be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court this year.

In passing its resolution, faculty government acknowledged U-M's legal efforts but said they were insufficient and the university needs to work harder to achieve greater diversity.

Gina Cervetti, a professor in the School of Education, said she supported the resolution because "there's a need for increased transparency" at U-M and the resolution is "a way to open up the conversation" about diversity.

Finn Larsen, a physics professor, voted against the resolution because he said the university's "heart is in the right place."

"It's a complex problem. There are no easy ways forward," he said. "They're doing what they can."

Below is the faculty resolution on diversity:

The University of Michigan is a great public institution. It is imperative that the university continue to work strenuously to create a learning community that reflects its aspirations to be a leader in public institution in our increasingly diverse twenty-first century society. Therefore, it is resolved that we request the administration to:

  1. Seek to determine the causes of now decades-long lack of process in improving campus diversity.
  2. Redirect university resources and strengthen leadership where necessary to achieve this goal of a more diverse and inclusive campus, supplementing any existing institutionalized programs and new creative approaches.
  3. Broaden the scope of efforts to include modern definitions of diversity (not only race, color, and national origin, but also age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, genes identity, gender expression, disability, religion, veteran status and economic class).
  4. Support initiatives such as the U-M Alumni Association Leadership, Excellence, Accomplishment, Diversity (LEAD) scholarship program for out-of-state under-represented minority students, including, to the extent possible, making such programs a high priority in the next university capital campaign, within the limits defined by the state and federal Constitutions.

In a document explaining the resolution, the Assembly said the "situation is urgent" and the university's diversity strategy needs a "wholesale reassessment." Faculty suggested the university tackle its lack of diversity in part by recruiting students from high schools with high levels of underrepresented minorities, publicize financial aid for low-income families and offer summer programs and research programs targeted toward strengthening the experience of minority high schoolers.

While the Assembly offered these suggestions, it added that there are "no magic bullets that will immediately improve diversity on the Ann Arbor campus."

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.


Joe Hood

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 12:19 a.m.

Let me see if I read that right, they want to offer loans to kids that come economically deprived areas? Maybe these poor kids are smarter than the ones attending school now. Loans have to be paid back


Wed, Apr 17, 2013 : 5:50 p.m.

Whole Man - Whole Materialism: I am surprised to note that the philosophy of Karl Marx is being advocated by some of our readers using terms like social justice, and giving the American Dream to the socially disadvantaged. Social, and economic conditions should not be the criteria to make evaluation of academic quality and intellectual potential in the field of education. We will be in fact erecting new kinds of barriers and impede the free flow of thoughts. Intellectual freedom sets the mind free and it overcomes the social, and economic barriers that may interfere with the learning process. At a fundamental level, the purpose of education and learning is that of setting mind free.

A Voice of Reason

Wed, Apr 17, 2013 : 2:46 p.m.

College admissions should not include race. Most game the system and the African Americans and Hispanics you are accepting are affluent, from educated homes with successful parents. How many are truly disadvantaged? You may look good on paper but we all know the truth--it is not about giving disadvantaged Detroit kids a chance. People game the admissions process all the time.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 6:14 p.m.

I know a kid who is saying that he is Hispanic so he can qualify for the disadvantaged status but he is white. His father is from Spain. I know another kid whose mom said that he has ADHD so he could qualify for disability status. You are so right, people game the system all the time.


Wed, Apr 17, 2013 : 1:05 p.m.

I'm sick of all this political correction junk. Either you're qualified to attend the University or you're not. Its too bad U of M wants to dumb down its adminisions based on race, religion, sexual preference rather than the quality and ability of its students.

Hot Sam

Wed, Apr 17, 2013 : 12:35 a.m.

It's time we start supporting "unity"...

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 7:13 p.m.

There is an alarming lack of diversity of thought amongst college professors these days. Perhaps the ivory tower needs a little color here and there. Color in the form of those who actually have to live in the post-entitlement-generation world.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 6:55 p.m.

I support diversity for sure. The best students with the best grades and the best scores with the best resumes get in. Why have it be any other way. My son got in and has worked his butt off and his school had an all time high of students getting into U of M. I want him studying with other kids that excel in their studies and want to be the best and support other students to be their best. U of M didn't get their ranking by letting students in that didn't qualify.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 6:17 p.m.

and how you going to do this profs by lowering standards for various groups.i think not.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 6:14 p.m.

Just exactly how are we supposed to give the poor and poor minorities a sense that the American Dream is for them too? Have you no empathy for those that have live in poorer areas that have hugely substandard public education? Should we just throw the more intelligent of these kids under the bus because giving a helping hand to go to Michigan discriminates against kids that have everything going for them? The American Dream should be for more than the kids that can afford it.

Robert E.

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 9:39 p.m.

Thank you league bus...finally some common sense and ability to think critically on this post...the complete lack of consideration of the enormous hurdles faced by minority kids is astounding...and the venom with which its communicated...they do just want to throw these kids under the bus and there's only one explanation for the vitriol presented here...thank God the posts on are not an accurate representation of the larger public...many just "stir the pot" for the sake of stirring the pot...those who strive for and advocate for social justice will always win in the end...thank you U of M for being at the forefront of this ongoing struggle...

Joel A. Levitt

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 5:27 p.m.

The UM might well increase scholarships available to qualified African-American students, but it will be doing African-Americans no favor to admit those who aren't prepared to take advantage of the education that the University offers. It would be far more useful if the faculty focused more energy and resources on improving our pre-college educational systems.

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 7:08 p.m.

Because athletes in the highly-recruited sports are not students - at least not what we would think of as students. They are tutored solely to the point where they maintain academic eligibility to play their sport. To be fair to them, they are asked to maintain a practice and game schedule that makes being a real student impossible half the year.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 6:23 p.m.

Its not the faculty that needs to focus on pre-college educational systems, it the state government and cutting education by 15% last year is their way of dealing with this problem. By the way, we tutor the athletes coming to the U to play sports, so why can't we tutor intelligent kids from substandard public schools who want to play academics?


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 5:25 p.m.

WHOLE MAN - WHOLE DIVERSITY: This is an action that is not based upon science and understanding of the reality called man. Man exists an original, one of its own kind, unique, and distinctive object; an object that cannot be duplicated by using any known reproductive technology. Even if this student community represents genetically identical clones, the members would still have no choice other than being individuals and the fact of individuality can be experimentally verified. Human Identity is defined by molecules which have the intrinsic ability to express varied behavior under identical experimental conditions. We have created these false notions of race identity and have added to that list without knowing the truth about man.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 6:37 p.m.

Left out the work where in cannot know where she/he will be born, sorry.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 6:35 p.m.

The problem is, an individual cannot know she/he will be born and an individual born in a economically poorer area will not have the same opportunities as the one born in the richer area. This is really what this whole discussion is about.

Ron Burgandy

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 5:06 p.m.

Well, I could be wrong, but I believe diversity is an old, old wooden ship that was used during the Civil War era.

Jay Thomas

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 4:58 p.m.

I'd like to add that others have mentioned hard work and family involvement as being one reason for the disparity. Naturally some people will refuse to accept that as being the answer because that would admit that some people are doing things wrong. The truth is that certain ethnic groups do spend more time studying and doing homework. I had friends of every stripe growing up here and I saw the difference first hand. The ethnic groups overrepresented in college were ALWAYS less available for me to play with... and vice versa.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 4:56 p.m.

Also why is is taken for granted that diversity is a good thing? I see diversity as a code word for socially acceptable discrimination against whites. If we wanted to be more diverse we would be. Do we really need politicians and public university faculty telling us who we should associate with?

Robert E.

Wed, Apr 17, 2013 : 3:30 a.m.

Um...ahh...yeah (choke, cough, laugh) white doods got if ruff! We cant let all the free passes we get in this country hold us down! Diversity? Huh? I agree WestFringe! Why should a progressive top-notch university and faculty that understands the reality of racial disparities advocate for something that only elevates and enriches the academic experience for students at our good ole' UofM? How dare those teachers of said students!?!


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 4:52 p.m.

The ONLY thing that should be used to evaluate prospective students is merit. Anything else is discriminatory. Forced diversity brings nothing but problems.

Stephen Landes

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 4:43 p.m.

It seems to me that the University in general and the faculty in particular have no idea what affirmative action could and should be. The faculty resolution is a laundry list of things that the administration should do. In one respect Prof Finn Larsen is right: "There are no easy ways forward." The U will never increase the numbers of successful minority students until they change their methods. The Athletic Department has no trouble finding qualified students because they do something the rest of the faculty won't do -- they get out of their offices, into the middle and high schools, and recruit. Why can't math, science, english, and history professors get out of their offices, get into schools, work with teachers and counselors to identify promising students, and then stay with them for several years, convincing them that they CAN make it into U of M, they CAN earn scholarships to pay for it, it IS possible if they will work for it. Those are actions that truly affirm what children need to hear, that truly affirm their ability to succeed. This is hard work and it will take all of the faculty together working to a plan they will have to develop to make it happen. Nothing happens at a university without pressure from the bottom -- everything flows up hill. The Regents and President cannot mandate that the faculty get together and do this. If the Faculty Senate Assembly wants to see the demographics of the student body --- and ultimately of the faculty itself -- change they will have to do the work themselves. There is no substitute for their direct efforts and no "easy way forward".


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 11:30 p.m.

"The Athletic Department has no trouble finding qualified students..." Or do they have no trouble qualifying students to fill the teams? (and I do not just mean minorities, believe me.)

Jay Thomas

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 4:32 p.m.

So they want to spend more of their budget researching this and actually doing the job that high schools are supposed to be doing themselves (preparing kids for college). Why is it that the regents -- who are supposed to give the administration its marching orders -- seem completely disconnected from the will of the majority of people in this state and just go along with whatever the administration TELLS THEM? I'm not sure what it is they see but I can tell you that Ann Arbor has changed considerably over the years.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 6 p.m.

Why are you blaming the regents for a vote by the faculty?


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 4:20 p.m.

By the way as a black female I have to also say that it is painfully obvious that the university has an agenda. They probably need to become more diverse for some new funding opportunity or to look good to their stakeholders and it is insulting to me and to my people that we are being used as pawns in their con game. The bottom line is that people know when you are genuinely trying to help them and when you could not care less and I can see that this is just a ploy to use us for their "diversity is good" garbage. Diversity is a joke. I am one of two black people (not including the other black person's bi-racial children) on my block and none of my neighbors know me intimately. They just move on with their lives and black people are irrelevant to them. I understand. White people are irrelevant to me. It doesn't matter. It doesn't make one bit of difference. The only color that matters is green. The bottom line, get a product, market it, sell it, make money, build a reputation and have integrity. The university is doing all of the above except having integrity. It is clear to me that they don't give a bleep about me or my people and that is fine with me. We don't need your help white people, we have been receiving your help this entire time and it has gotten us here. AKA Nowhere. If you want to help us, encourage us black women to marry before having sex and producing children, encourage us to stop aborting our children (#1 cause of death for black people), encourage us black women to trust in their husbands, encourage us women to try staying at home to help our children close their achievement gap, buy our products/services and patronize our family businesses. Stop the affirmative action nonsense. If someone has to force you to like me/include me then I don't want to be your friend or attend your school anyway (obvious!). It's not like the student body is going to be so thrilled for me to be there anyway. They don't want me there and I don't want to be there


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 11:42 p.m.

hail2thevictoria, a very mature and informed piece that you wrote. If I were your neighbor I would definetly want to know you and be friends. Keep up your objective thinking. You should be successful in whatever degree program you are studying. I think you have penetrated U of Ms veil of hidden agendas.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 11:32 p.m.

Thanks for your perspective. And I believe it is more common that the academia would like to believe----who are they really doing this for?

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 7:04 p.m.

I think it would be hilarious to have you discuss all of this with the faculty committee that created all this nonsense. They think they're your saviors and your family's saviors, but all they want is your dependence and an occasional smile. In fact, it's even better if you don't give them the smile right away, because it makes them feel even more noble. You're right, it starts with the babies. It starts with parents believing every moment with their children is precious, and they have a responsibility to prepare them for the world. The gap is there long before some misguided professor even sees you.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 4:08 p.m.

Will the U have to track prospective students' sexual orientation, marital status, etc. in order to achieve these goals? That doesn't sound like a good plan.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 4:03 p.m.

I just have to begin by saying...I'm black, female and low-income so it is not hard for me to identify with some of the students whom the university is trying to attract. Yes, it is more important to us to find ways to earn money and stabilize our families than it is to work our way into debt at university and not be able to find employment. I don't know how many of my peers are like me but I believe that we (black people) need to improve our family structure so we don't get sucked into these traps that have been set for us. The music we listen to says "I need money now" over and over again and our parents say "I'm broke and it's over for me and it don't look so good for you either if I am any indication". There is little respect for parents who didn't make it happen so if they say "go to school and get a good education so you can get a good job" we say "how's that working out for you?" it isn't working out for them. My father has a degree in chemical engineering and an MBA and the only job he could get was in the events planning department at a (non-major) local university. He can't afford to buy a house, his nephew was promoted to a position over him so his nephew is now his boss, he complains incessantly about his life situation and he isn't winning. My mom has a Bachelors in Marketing c.2010 but she is still an Administrative Assistant for the State of Michigan and her boss refuses to give her additional responsibilities that match her new skill-set and the pay to match. As far as I'm concerned, they got screwed out of their money and time attending classes that got them nowhere. As for me, I'm an autodidact. I read a lot and I'm an entrepreneur. I refuse to pay a mint for an education that is not going to help me, or my people because we don't have enough of our own businesses to employ the people who look like US. Hello, people identify with and employ the people who look like them or their market. I have more to say but I


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 3:19 p.m.

The University of Michigan faculty GOVERNMENT is calling on the administration to improve student diversity at the school...the faculty Senate Assembly called on administrators to pour more RESOURCES into achieving diversity... The two words that are the most revealing and frightening are GOVERNMENT and RESOURCES. The government "dictates" and "redistributes" resources. The University is kicking off its new campaign this fall which will concentrate on scholarships. They WILL bring in billions again to distribute as they please wherever it will serve their causes. Demanding more "resources" for diversity is simply funding liberal hypocrisy, theft and control. This is why I stopped giving directly to the U as an alum and chose to support Mott. I'd rather take care of those precious minds and bodies. Then pray they do not fall victim to the diverse indoctrination.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 2:57 p.m.

I think the characteristics of the student body should resemble those of the people of Michigan. The statistics indicate that segments of our population are grossly underserved by University of Michigan. The race-blind approach isn't working very well. I think this is a problem, and I think the faculty are right to ask the University to address it.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 2:52 p.m.

"They also encouraged U-M to broaden the scope of diversity beyond race to include sexual orientation, disabilities and marital status" I would be more impressed if there was some interest in an increasingly under-represented category: low-income families.

Kellie Woodhouse

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 3:25 p.m.

Although not included in that sentence, the faculty did address this. Check out No. 3 in the resolution-- it mentions "economic class."

Top Cat

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 2:12 p.m.

Should they also insist that 50% of the student body be male to reflect the population?

Jay Thomas

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 4:41 p.m.

For those that don't know, there are 3 women now admitted to college for every two males. I expect nothing to change about that because males aren't going to make a big deal out of it --> and the other gender is benefiting.

Elaine F. Owsley

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 3:47 p.m.

Only if 50% of the population truly IS male.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 2:04 p.m.

Really want diversity? Drastically lower the cost of tuition. Make the campus more commuter friendly. Just a couple thought off the top of my head. But those two things would work wonders.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 1:52 p.m.

Wait a minute. Given what i have seen - UofM is supposedly quite diverse. Are we actually trying to get at the root of the problem - or is this typical adjusted affirmative action? We know it is not the color of one;s skin, because certain demographics currently at UofM have a darker hue than the "so called" under represented minorities. It is cultural- minimal parental involvement If the parents wish to have this kids admitted to the UofM, then they better burst their buns to get these kids to take AP classes and a have high GPAs. There is no work arounds on that. GO check out the prof who chided a kid about coming to class an hour late! hard work, hard work, hard work!!!!

Great Lakes Lady

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 1:38 p.m.

Is that how they base their hiring of professors, solely on diversity? Don't they have any other issues to focus on? Why not focus on lowering administrative costs to lower tuition to make it more affordable? Find ways to save the school money. Or is that not "cool" enough? Is it "cooler" to resolve to go against the voters of this state?


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 1:30 p.m.

Knock it off already.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 1:23 p.m.

How about a 50/50 standard. 50% "minorities" and 50% "non-minorities"....not sure what either means anymore, but i am certain everyone would feel better.

Elaine F. Owsley

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 3:45 p.m.

The percentages, if used, should reflect the population percentages for the US as a whole.

Silly Sally

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 2:18 p.m.

why discriminate against the vast majority of students? Its just wrong

Real Life

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 1:23 p.m.

Another example of misplaced priorities. Pursue excellence and let the skin color sort itself out.

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 1:17 p.m.

A friend insists that everyone on his hall at umich was Jewish. I dispute that. But while we are on the topic of diversity, are there any statistics?

Jay Thomas

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 5:09 p.m.

If we admitted solely on a percentage basis that would mean Asians and Jews would have to take a hit because they are the ones significantly overrepresented. Whites are in the middle and no more really than their percentage of the population at best (in many Ivy League and California universities whites are underrepresented... but who cares).


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 4:19 p.m.

From the UM Hillel Website: "How many Jewish students attend the University of Michigan?" "There are somewhere between 6,000 to 7,000 at Michigan, making up almost 20% of the entire student body and representing approximately 2% of all of the Jewish college students in North America. "


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 1:16 p.m.

Our top priority should always be excellence & achievement. This sounds like typical liberal bias towards racial quotas. Allowing someone to get something via quota that everyone else has to earn is not an acceptable way to become the leaders & best. Quotas emphasizew the idea that it's not what you can do but who you know. The University of Michigan doesn't need quotas.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 1:13 p.m.

Forced diversity for diversity's sake isn't worth a bucket of warm spit (to borrow from John Nance Garner comment about the Vice Presidency).

Robert E.

Wed, Apr 17, 2013 : 4:52 a.m.

Um btw demisty...many of us consider what you term "political correctness" as "human decency and compassion"...PC is a made-up blanket term used by conservatives when they don't have a coherent argument to retort with...

Robert E.

Wed, Apr 17, 2013 : 4:44 a.m.

Wow...I'm speechless...that's probably what you're shooting for I know...but...Wow...


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 3:04 p.m.

Incidentally, that word was not "spit" in the original. Just as other words in this discussion have been modified for political correctness.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 12:58 p.m.

I know! The U needs diversity, Patricia Green needs a job....


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 12:52 p.m.

Maybe those underrepresented groups are simply more adverse than average to becoming tuition debt slaves?


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 12:51 p.m.

Kellie, Please provide us % black kids who graduate within 5 years at UM.

Jay Thomas

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 5:17 p.m.

I know that affirmative action (where allowed) leads to much higher drop out rates (and student loan defaults). Its supporters need to understand that getting into college doesn't mean you will get out with a degree! WSU and EMU are MAJORITY drop-out schools (for those that don't know). When we doubled the number of people going to college... this is what happened.

Silly Sally

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 2:15 p.m.

and a breakdown of majors


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 2:06 p.m.

This ia a really good point. How about 4 years? I'd like to see the graduation rates for all the groups that provide "diversity".


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 12:47 p.m.

The intelligentsia do looooooove their buzz words.....

Robert E.

Wed, Apr 17, 2013 : 3:46 a.m.

I resisted the temptation to reply but what the hay...what exactly are you trying to say? And isnt "the intelligentsia" just a buzzword as well? Are you saying people who disagree with you are literally more intelligent than you, or are you saying people who have larger vocabularies than you are smarter than you, or are you trying to say you think you are more intelligent than the aformentioned groups? Just curious...


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 12:44 p.m.

I would like to see the diversity statistics for the university's faculty to make sure they're abiding by their own standard.

Jay Thomas

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 5:54 p.m.

Arabs and even Sephardic Jews are counted as "white" by the way.

Angry Moderate

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 5:54 p.m.

Dotdash, look at the black percentage, not the white percentage. You're lumping blacks and Asians together.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 1:45 p.m.

The US population is 72.4% white; Michigan is 76.6% white, and those numbers are higher among people of employment age (25-75 = 80.8% white). They are not doing so badly.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 1:25 p.m.

Hmmmmm, seems a double standard here. Why is the faculty so white?


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 1:22 p.m.

The U of M faculty is 74% white, 16% Asian, 4% black, 4% hispanic. The U of M staff is 78% white, 5% Asian, 10% black, 3% hispanic.

amanda tillotson

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 12:26 p.m.

The issue of expanding definitions of diversity, and particularly that of including economic diversity, is critical but poses difficulties in implementation if students from low-income backgrounds are to succeed at the University. Economic diversity is particularly important because, currently, U of M students are almost overwhelmingly drawn from economically privileged backgrounds and are likely to go on to occupy positions in which they will make help make policies and decisions that will affect the lives of others. If they have no personal experience with individuals who have faced economic and social barriers, then it limits their ability to make informed judgments about these issues. At the same time, low-income students tend to face challenges with which an elite University is ill-equipped to deal. They may be expected to help support their families; ; they may have family members who are victims of crime, or who become homeless; they or their family members may lack appropriate insurance. These situations may become crises at academically inopportune times. If they are to succeed at a school like Michigan, they need help in addressing problems of this sort. Otherwise they will simply become statistics that can be used to demonstrate that poor students do not succeed at schools like U of M.

1982 Brew Crew

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 11:59 a.m.

The 4th prong of the faculty resolution ("Support initiatives such as the...Diversity (LEAD) scholarship program for out-of-state under-represented minority students") rankles. This is a state-supported school. The last thing I want my state school to be doing is spending money trying to get fill more of the admission spots with out of state students to meet the social justice determinations of this a narrow majority of the current faculty. No. Reward excellence, even if achieved by a white or Asian, and favor in-state applicants. Do not recuit less qualified out-state applicants just because you believe they are under-represented on campus. Otherwise, where does it stop? Are you next going to tell John Beilein that the racial make-up of his team should look like the larger population? Why is it ok to favor one racial group academically but not athletically? Adhere to the lette rand spirit of the 2006 law.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 10:50 p.m.

Good points. And the '82 team was awesome, still have my 'true blue brew crew' shirt somewhere, but I doubt it would fit, lol.

Silly Sally

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 1:58 p.m.

Oh, no. Our basketball team should "look like America"

Silly Sally

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 11:55 a.m.

To show how absurd this whole idea is, during my entire academic career, both undergraduate and graduate, I rarely looked at another person and wondered, is he or she married? Perhaps during social settings, but not when a classmate is talking during a presentation. . The best way to boost the numbers of black students is for more of them to develop better study habits. Those that are admitted at UM do seem to be academically qualified, a big change from a dozen years ago when UM would give a black student more points for being black with a "C: average than being white with an "A" average. As long as some people were admitted due to their race and not ability, they were forever tainted. Now some professors wish to once again taint all members of a race by bringing back AF.

Robert E.

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 8:13 p.m.

No aamon...with all.due respect, the dropoff in minority representation at U of M is that even qualified minorities are not getting in...access to higher education is made much more difficult when growing up in poverty even if a kid has straight As...thats reality...saying that minority kids simply have to improve their study habits is unbelievably short-sighted...


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 7:17 p.m.

When were you in College, Silly Sally? This is 2013, after all. The SCOTUS will determine if Affirmative Action is an appropriate remedy, and not posters here or elsewhere. It is indisputable that diversity representation has fallen since the "new" standards went into place. Perhaps they will be reversed upon appeal, and race and and other diversity characteristics allowed in order to create a representative student body.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 6:39 p.m.

Robert you won't fix the problems of poverty and racism by admitting unqualified people into UM. It might make you feel better, but it isn't solving anything. You would need to start at Kindergarten, give a child a stable home and good school and then let them get into UM on their own merit. Starting to try to fix the problem at the college level is just too little too late.

Elaine F. Owsley

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 11:48 a.m.

The minority communities bear some responsibility in preparing their student population to qualify at any university. The same dynamics that build football teams and basketball teams is working in building academics. The best get the spots, the rest, regardless of race, are left behind.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 1:57 p.m.

They bear most of the responsibilty - they need to see their children succeed. You would ask anything less of the Asian community!


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 11:48 a.m.

Now if these faculty were just as worried about getting the cost of education down to where more could afford it, they would have some credibility.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 6:40 p.m.

Isn't college life great!

Angry Moderate

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 5:51 p.m.

But then they wouldn't get paid $120,000 to publish a couple of articles a year while foreign grad students teach their classes.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 3:45 p.m.

You are SO right on the money.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 11:45 a.m.

The faculty should practice what they preach. They are 100% liberal. Where is the diversity of political thought? They are 90% secular humanists. Why don't they reflect society which is arguably more than 75% Christian? Gays make up 2% of the population but are significantly over represented among faculty and the student body. Scholarships should be based on need and ability and not on racial or gender characteristics.

Elijah Shalis

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 6:10 p.m.

Silly Sally 4% of the population identifies as GLBTQ. Another 6 % admits having sex same attractions ie they are in the closet.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 5:50 p.m.

Narnia Interesting statistics. I wish I could make up some too, but I don't have the time for all the quality work you invested in that.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 2:52 p.m.

Narnia, do you have any actual evidence to back up your claim that the faculty are 100% liberal and 90% secular humanists? Or that gays are "over represented" at the university? No, you don't ... because those are complete fabrications. Narnia ... it's not just a fictional place, it's a state of mind.

Silly Sally

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 2:10 p.m.

@Elijah Shalis Studies and surveys show that it is closer to about 4% (2010 US census data). 10% has always been a myth.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 2:02 p.m.

dotdash! There are some very good researchers - but significant others live off the pusblishing mill. GO actually read the research papers , and take a look at who is actually doing the leg work. It is usually not the main author. If Michigan was the automotive capital of the world, I would have thought that UofM would have be the bastion of true innovation for automotive and or transportation (like Stanford is to the silicon valley).

Elijah Shalis

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 1:52 p.m.

I think Aslan would be displeased at your post. Gays make up more than 10% of the general population. You would be surprised to know that many of them are also Christian like myself.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 1:15 p.m.

It's worth noting that hiring at a major university is almost entirely based on merit: articles published, quality of dissertation, etc. And actually, universities are not the liberal bastions they were 20 years ago. You'll find that even right-wing academics are good scholars and get jobs accordingly.

Silly Sally

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : noon

they believe that all members of a certain race or group think alike! That all blacks will vote for Obama, all Asians will do this, all Hispanics will do that. Their very thought process is, well biased. Thought diversity? No, no, no. They want the thought police. Some want to be the thought police. Is Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia comes to talk, he is shouted down. They help sponsor groups such as BAMN. 'nough said.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 11:23 a.m.

I think the University should focus first on excellence in the particular fields of scholarship and research they perform, and secondarily on objective, open processes for admitting students, hiring and promoting staff. Anything else taints the accomplishments of anyone associated with UM who might be considered "diverse". Double standards and double talk do not serve anyone well. What we need is a fair, open UM community which is color-, gender- and sexual orientation-blind. Certainly if individuals or organizations want to target grant money to individuals of a particular race or ethnic background, or gender, that is their right. But money from taxpayers and tuition should be spent only on programs and for processes that do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender or ethnicity.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 11:11 a.m.

When I walk around the UM campus I see and hear many people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. In fact, I am amazed at the diversity on campus relative to the community as a whole. From my perspective the university appears to be accomplishing its goal of bringing a diverse population to Ann Arbor. I suspect the number of diverse individuals tends to ebb and flow over time and the equivalent of "hand-ringing" on the part of the Faculty Government is ill-founded. In fact, taking this a step further, placing such a high degree of importance on this issue of campus diversity may be misguided. Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam's research has made it clear that there is a significant downside to diversity. This Boston Globe article discusses his findings.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 7:41 p.m.

I do not agree with the argument that increasing diversity is the priority, but I also feel sad that the argument that emphasizes the downside of the (ethnic) diversity has gotten so high voter score, particularly here in Ann Arbor. There are many contexts and conditions to consider for Robert Putnam's argument. It has gotten many citations due to its provocative argument. But there exists important contexts in which the argument lies. What he shows in his original article ("E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize Lecture") is the empirical evidence of how prejudiced we are. Specifically, he shows that the more ethnically heterogeneous one's surroundings are, he or she is less likely to trust his or her neighbors. Yes, we are prejudiced as we know. That's what he shows, rather than "ethnic diversity is bad." So, he spends much space in emphasizing why having a sense of shared citizenship, common experiences, etc. is important. As human beings are so easily prejudiced, we should do our best to overcome this.

Ypsi Russell

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 4:48 p.m.

How shall we entice diverse people into these "community centers?" In Liberty Plaza they serve free pizza and pie.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 1:25 p.m.

I agree. This is an interesting article. Thanks for the post. But Robert Putnam is advocating for "investing in community centers and other places that allow for 'meaningful interaction across ethnic lines'" because people are hiding in their little turtle shells when surrounded by those who aren't like them. The university is bringing a diverse population to A2, but compared to other universities, it isn't very diverse.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 1:13 p.m.

Thanks for posting, that's an interesting article. The research on the other side (by U of M's Scott Page, notably, who is quoted in that article) shows that diverse organizations make better decisions and get better outcomes. So it would seem that people are less active in less diverse communities, even if that is ultimately leads to sub-optimal outcomes. Interesting.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 10:57 a.m.

I'm confused. I thought we were not supposed to be using race in admissions. If I am correct, what really is the faculty trying to say? Go figure!