Federal investigation won’t affect Michigan public universities


There are reports that the Trump Administration could soon turn it’s attention to college admissions processes, specifically when it comes to affirmative action policies.

6-News has learned that Michigan State University would not be affected, and neither would any other public university in the state of Michigan because under state law, race-based admissions are already prohibited.

“Prior to 2006, all information on the application was fair for consideration, following that in 2007, when Proposition 2 went into place, colleges, universities, had to make certain that race, gender, and ethnic origin were not factors in admission decisions,” says Executive Director of Admissions and Recruitment at Michigan State University, James Cotter.

Cotter says, the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, passed in 2006, made it so no public university in Michigan could discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to anyone on the basis of race, ethnicity, or gender when selecting potential students.

“When it comes time to review academic credentials, it tends to be high school record, test scores, personal statement,” says Cotter.

Conversation about the role of race in the college admission process has been brought to the forefront this week on a national level, after a New York Times article reported the U.S. Justice Department may be planning to challenge admissions policies at college’s that give special treatment to minorities, especially those that favor minorities over white students.

“The discussion that’s going on right now at the national level, is an important discussion, but it’s one that doesn’t necessarily have a great impact on the state of Michigan because we’re already prohibited from using affirmative action sorts of information in our decisions,” says Cotter.

Cotter does believe having a diverse student population at MSU is important though. To make that happen, he says, the University does recruiting in many different cities and regions here at home, and around the world.

According to enrollment data from MSU, in 2016, just more than 43,075 American students attended the university. Of those students, 76.7% were white, 21.9% minorities, with 1.3% not reported.

Officials from the University of Michigan tell 6-News, because of state law, affirmative action is not used in it’s admission process either.

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