Michigan Civil Rights Initiative Review Status

In 2006, Former President Rao asked that the University conduct a systematic review of its programs and operations to examine the impact of the new Article I, Section 25 of the Michigan Constitution (”Proposal 2”) that forbids certain “preferential treatment” in public employment, public education, and public contracting.

As reviews of each program or segment of the University are completed, a brief report will be posted on this page, with a date of completion. Click on the area name below for details concerning that area's review.

Undergraduate Admissions - Completed January 12, 2007

CMU's undergraduate admissions process does not use any "preferential treatment." It does not admit students based on a "point system" of any sort. The admission process is holistic and considers:

  • * Grade Point Average
  • ACT/SAT test scores
  • Rigor of the academic courses successfully completed
  • Trend in grades
  • Involvement in high school or community
  • Letters of recommendation
The Admissions Office aggressively recruits students through a number of activities: direct mail, on-site admission events, high school and community college visits, open houses, pre-orientation events, and telephone follow-up. These activities are aimed at all students, including students of color.

The University will continue to aggressively recruit students of color by using the above activities in and with high schools with large populations of students of color and at community colleges. It will assure that it participates in college nights and similar activities at high schools in urban areas. It will continue to monitor its publications to assure that they let students of color know that they are wanted and welcome at CMU. It will do these things to assure equal opportunity for all prospective students.

Undergraduate admissions has, in the past, focused mailings about certain scholarships on students who are members of ethnic and racial minority groups. The applications for these scholarships are available to all students at College Nights and are prominently displayed in the Admissions Office lobby area, but have been sent only to students who are members of ethnic or racial minority groups. In future, these mailings will go to all students who reside in a zip code area from which the university wants to enroll more students because students from this area are underrepresented in the student body.

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Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid - Completed January 12, 2007

Federal financial aid programs administered by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (grants, loans and work study) do not extend "preferential treatment" to students on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin. When combined, these forms of aid represent approximately 66% of annual financial aid funding to CMU students.

Only four financial aid awards that state a preference or requirement concerning race, sex, ethnicity, or national origin have been identified.

Two of these prefer Native Americans. We believe that these awards express a preference on the basis of sovereignty status of Native Americans. We will not be changing these at this time. One of the two is the Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver program. We will continue to monitor legal opinions from sources that specialize in these issues and will reconsider CMU's position if necessary.

Two scholarships have been funded annually by a major corporation. A third is funded by a different major corporation. We have initiated discussions with the corporate representatives to agree upon alternative wording that will continue to promote diversity but not give preferential treatment on the basis of the categories listed in the constitutional amendment.

CMU has a number of scholarships which have been developed carefully over the past years to encourage a commitment to the elimination of racism and the promotion of equal opportunity without preferring persons of a particular gender, race or ethnicity. The University will continue to administer these scholarships. We will assure that all students know of the availability of these scholarships and that "preferential treatment" does not occur in the selection process.

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Career Services - Completed January 15, 2007

Career Services adheres to all federal and state equal employment opportunity laws and the university's affirmative action protocol when matching qualified students to career opportunities. The unit does not conduct a resume database search based on any discriminatory or employer-designated desired attributes, including sex, race, ethnicity, color, or national origin. Career Services does not disclose to any hiring authority students' race, ethnicity, gender or birthdate.

A student's gender is usually obvious from the name. Although not encouraged, students may choose to upload a picture to their candidate profile located on the unit's resume database management system e-recruiting.

Career Services shares with students external employment and graduate fellowship and internship opportunities which are targeted toward members of specific protected groups. The University will consider within the next three months whether it may continue to do this.

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Grants and Contracts - Completed January 15, 2007

Grants and Contracts has reviewed all federal and private grants to identify any that might be affected by Article I, Section 25.

Two federal grants have been identified that may require "preferential treatment." They require the university to aggressively recruit persons of color into academic programs. They are exempt from immediate compliance with Article I, Section 25, because the constitutional amendment "does not prohibit action that must be taken to establish or maintain eligibility for any federal program, if ineligibility would result in a loss of federal funds to the state." The amendment also states: "This section applies only to action taken after the effective date of this section."

CMU will conduct further discussions with the units sponsoring these grants to review what is actually done to attract women and students of color, whether changes can be made during the period of the grant, and to monitor whether or not it may renew these grants and contracts when they come up for renewal.

One pending grant application is for the operation of the Upward Bound Program with Northern High School in Detroit. This grant is to support and encourage students from low-income families, and students who would be potentially first generation college graduates. The grant requires strategies to involve more male participants in the project. CMU will review whether the strategies can be adapted to comply with Article I, Section 25. Some federal applications require a commitment to accept the grant at the time the application is submitted. CMU will review what commitments have been made regarding this grant and whether it is exempt from immediate compliance because "ineligibility would result in a loss of federal funds to the state."

One pending grant application requests fellowships for a doctoral program. One of the objectives is to increase the number of women and other underrepresented minorities in the doctoral program. CMU will review whether the strategies proposed can be adapted to comply with Article I, Section 25. Some federal applications require a commitment to accept the grant at the time the application is submitted. CMU will review what commitments have been made regarding this grant and whether it is exempt from immediate compliance because "ineligibility would result in a loss of federal funds to the state."

The Office of Grants and Contracts will monitor new grant applications and consult with General Counsel if there are questions of compliance with Article I, Section 25.

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