Friday, January 12, 2007

Hail to the Vanquished

The University of Michigan is not going down without a fight. Seemingly stymied by an initiative passed in November banning it from using race or sex in admissions decisions, it has taken two steps to basically tell the voters of Michigan to go to hell. First, as James Taranto at Best of the Web reports, the university will still require that admissions officers know the race and sex of the candidate they are evaluating, trusting in the good faith of the same people who enacted and carried out the old policy to begin with to completely ignore this information:

Instead of blacking out the information, admissions officers have been instructed to disregard the race and gender of potential students when evaluating their applications, University spokeswoman Julie Peterson said.

"There's nothing in Proposal 2 that says race has to be a secret," Peterson said. "It's simply not going to be factor in our decision." . . .

Peterson said the University would rely on trust to ensure that race and gender aren't taken into consideration.

"Our counselors are ethical people with integrity, but we can't crawl inside the mind of an admissions counselor," Peterson said.

She said officers would just ignore the race and gender sections of the applications while considering other information about the applicant.

"If you think this is subjective, you need to understand the whole process is subjective," she said. "We're looking at things like leadership and motivation. All those things are personal and subjective. So we will do what we always have done: train our counselors." (Original source: Michigan Daily).

Second, the university will use race by other names. In the words of The Washington Post, "The university said that it would use other criteria that are not explicitly race- or gender-based to achieve diversity. Those include geographic diversity, the level of education completed by students' parents, and whether students attended a disadvantaged school."

In other words, it will try to discriminate through the back door. Expect another ten years or so of litigation.


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