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June 30, 2003 - Image 2

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2003-06-30

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Monday. June 30. 2003

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MCDONALD
Continued from Page 1.
This target "is going to be quite
easy" to attain because under the
points system, admissions officers
were instructed to give varying
amounts of points to applicants based
on the difficulty of their class sched-
ule or their involvement in leadership
and extracurricular activities, he said.
"If you look at the list of factors
that were considered ... most of the
factors (required by the court) were
already being looked at," he said.
Although administrators and deans
will be meeting this week to discuss
changes, there "has been some plan-
ning" conducted earlier on reforming
the LSA policy, McDonald added.
But he said he does not know if it
occurred before or after the ruling
was announced.
The new policy will probably be used
for only one year, McDonald said.
While applications are piling up for the
class of 2008, administrators will be
meeting with faculty and staff members
to analyze possible changes to the inter-
im policy and to begin finalizing a long-
term program, he said.
McDonald added he does not know
the form of final policy or the
timetable for its completion, but he
said hopefully it will be ready to go
by the fall of 2004, in time to affect
the class of 2009.
Students will not be involved
directly in the discussions because

"we normally don't involve students
in admitting students," McDonald
said, but faculty and staff will collect
student input and consider it as they
recommend admissions criteria. Fac-
ulty will not be greatly involved in
working on the interim policy because
most leave the University over the
summer, he added.
A more individualized review
process where each applicant's indi-
vidual characteristics are considered
may require the University to hire
more admissions officers, McDonald
said. University lawyers had argued
the point system was the most prac-
tical LSA policy because officials
had to read through over 25,000
applications a year.
But adding to the 20 officers
already employed to read undergradu-
ate applications for all schools will
not impact students' tuition costs or
quality of education, he said. "I think
that on the scale of the LSA budget,
even though that may cost somewhat
more, it's not going to take away from
instruction," he said.
And in the end, the new LSA policy
will not only use race in a constitutional
manner, but it will also preserve the old
system's results of enrolling a diverse
student body, McDonald said.
"I don't think there's going to be
significant changes to the composi-
tion of the class. I think the way
those (admissions factors) are
weighted and looked at is what will
change," he said.

Texas universities will adopt
afinnmative action in the future

-4

(U-WIRE) - For the firasttime in seven years, the Universi-
ty of Texas has a national standard for admissions practices.
After the Hopwood v. Texas decision in 1996, which
effectively banned the use of affirmative action in admis-
sions at UT, the university was forced to implement cre-
ative race-neutral recruiting and admissions policies to
maintain minority enrollment without violating the spirit
or the letter of the law.
Under Hopwood, the university faced some of the most
conservative and restrictive affirmative action policies in
the nation, said Monica Ingram, assistant dean of admis-
sions at the UT Law School.
However, with the Supreme Court decisions issued Monday
on two University of Michigan cases, Gratz v. Bollinger and
Grutter v. Bollinger, all public educational institutions in the
nation face the same standards.
"We are very pleased that the Court's ruling sweeps
away the Hopwood decision and places the state of Texas
and the educational institutions in the state of Texas on the
same basis as educational institutions elsewhere in the U.S.
It's important to have law rendered common throughout
the nation," UT President Larry Faulkner said at a news
conference Monday. "It's a competitive issue for us, but it's
also an issue that gets to the heart of what we're trying to
accomplish at this institution."
According to the rulings, race may be taken into account
in admissions, as one criterion among many, but a point
system may not be used.
Now Texas Universities, both in undergraduate programs
and at the Law Schools, face the task of interpreting the
Supreme Court decision and redefining their own
admissions procedures.
UT admissions officers have been waiting for the
opinion and anticipating a decision, but very few
detailed policies can be developed before the Justices'
opinions have been interpreted by legal experts, said
Bruce Walker, the former director of undergraduate
admissions at the university. Walker has recently been

appointed vice provost, but he still handles admissions.
"It's very rare that these decisions are as clear as a
bell," Walker said.
UT undergraduate admissions, which since Hopwood has
relied heavily on the top 10 percent plan and strategic
recruiting in traditionally under-represented areas, will
return to an admissions process similar to the one in
place before 1996, Walker said.
The top 10 percent plan won't be discarded until Texas law-
makers decide to review it, Walker said.
The plan, touted as an alternative to affinative action, has
produced a class composed of 70 percent automatically admit-
ted students, and has seen much criticism, though President
Faulkner emphasized that it has been an effective tool in reach-
ing out to geographically underrepresented areas in Texas.
Walker agreed that the bill was good foundation, but
was not enough.
"I don't think the bill itself, without any enhancements,
would have been successful," Walker said. "I don't think it's a
good thing for every freshman at UT-Austin to be selected on
a single criterion."
A proposed cap on the bill failed to pass this legislative ses-
sion, but the Court's ruling could urge lawmakers to revisit it.
On Monday, Student Government President Brian Haley
submitted a request to Gov. Rick Perry to reconsider the law in
a special session.
Walker said that only students not automatically
admitted under the top 10 percent law, can be evaluated
under affirmative action. The admissions process
emphasizes holistic reading for students not automati-
cally admitted, Walker said, meaning the applicants are
always evaluated relative to the entire pool. The system
bears no resemblance to a point system and race will
now simply be another factor taken into consideration.
The Law School, which has used race-neutral admissions
since Hopwood, can now request information about ethnicity,
Ingram said.
-Originally published June 24 in the Daily Texan.

4

4

4

U m

Carl, you still thinking
about painting the
(91 Camino?

Yeah, man, I want
to put some killer
flames shooting out
from my name.

Maybe you should
just stencil "ugly"
across the hood.

Watch it Jerry.

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