University of Michigan

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Contents

Overview

The University of Michigan is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with smaller campuses in Flint and Dearborn. It is, among other things, home to the winningest Division I college football team in the country. After he was no longer eligible to play, the team's star center from 1932-1934, Gerald Ford, had to settle for a less prestigious job as President of the United States. The Gerald R. Ford Library is located on the University of Michigan's campus.

Affirmative Action

In 2003, the University of Michigan was the defendant in two landmark affirmative action cases before the Supreme Court. One dealt with the admission policy for undergraduates, the other with that of the Law School. The plaintiffs in both lawsuits were white applicants who contended that their rights were violated by policies that gave preference to minority applicants; both were represented by the conservative Center for Individual Rights.

President George W. Bush opposed the University's affirmative action policy, and directed Solicitor General Ted Olson to file briefs to that effect. His National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, however, disagreed slightly, saying race should be a factor in university admissions, and Secretary of State Colin Powell went even further in disagreeing with the President.

Former President Gerald Ford wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times supporting the University's policy. A wide range of others filed briefs on behalf of the University. General Wesley Clark and Senator Max Cleland wrote of the implications for the military. And Fortune 500 companies such as 3M, du Pont, Dow Chemical, Eastman Kodak, General Mills, General Motors, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg, KPMG, Lucent, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, and Texaco, all filed briefs on behalf of the University, arguing that affirmative action was necessary to produce a diverse student body, which in turn produced a diverse and experienced work force.

Decisions in the cases were handed down June 23, 2003, resulting in a split decision for the University:

Notable Alumni

Bibliography

CNN (2003). Powell defends affirmative action in college admissions. Retrieved June 7, 2004.

CNN (2003). Rice says race can be 'one factor' in considering admissions. Retrieved June 7, 2004.

Cohen, Jodi (June 24, 2003). Diversity wins in U-M Supreme Court rulings. The Detroit News.

University of Michigan (2003). University of Michigan Affirmative Action Lawsuit. Retrieved June 7, 2004.

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