Phi Beta Cons

Racial Preferences on Steroids

Before Prop. 2 passed, the University of Michigan went crazy for preferences:

Minority admissions to the University of Michigan’s fall freshman class surged significantly right before Proposal 2 took effect and dropped after, according to admissions data released Friday.
In the weeks leading up to Proposal 2′s implementation, the university admitted 55 percent more minority students than the same period the year before. Minority admissions declined 25 percent, however, in a period that includes the time after the constitutional amendment was enacted.
The time periods aren’t completely analogous to the enactment of Prop 2, because U-M didn’t provide that data. U-M began conforming to the amendment on Jan. 10, but the most recent admissions data includes two weeks in which race was considered.
While university leaders caution the numbers are too preliminary to draw sweeping conclusions, they offer a first glimpse at the impact of Proposal 2 on U-M’s undergraduate admissions.
Terry Pell, president of the Center for Individual Rights, which sued U-M to ensure it complied with Prop 2, said he’s waiting for final numbers. But one thing is clear: U-M considered race in admissions prior to implementing Prop 2 to boost the minority acceptance rate.
“And these (pre-Prop 2) numbers reflect that. There’s nothing terribly surprising about this and that’s why the voters decided to end their preferential policies,” Pell said.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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