Information about Affirmative Action at the U of M
After several questions in class yesterday, I looked for more information about the various Affirmative Action programs here at the U. Perhaps the easiest program to find information on was the affirmative action program for employment. The University is a substantial government contractor, and as such, has a legal responsibility to develop and publicy disseminate a affirmative action plan for hiring. According to the Universities affirmative action plan for 2006, the purpose of affirmative aciton in employment (Faculty and Staff) is to "remove the barriers that have excluded peoplefrom full participation (in the unversity)". The groups currently covered by affirmative action, defined by
state and federal law, include women, racial minorities, people with disabilities, disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam era, recently separated veterans, and other eligible veterans.
Affirmative action in employment "includes the screening of position descriptions and selection criteria to ensure the use of appropriate requirements; comprehensive and inclusive advertising and recruiting efforts; special or targeted recruiting in addition to traditional methods; and gender-neutral and culturally bias-free criteria in hiring, performance evaluation, and termination, thereby making the entire system fair to all individuals.
Employment and education requirements are not lowered." "The University is required under federal law,
specifically Executive Order 11246, to establish hiring goals for women and racial minorities when their representation in the University workforce is less than their representation in the local or national labor pool. Setting
goals does not mean establishing quotas. Hiring goals are based on several factors. In setting the goals, the University conducts a utilization analysis to determine its current employment of women and minorities and
an availability analysis to determine the number of qualified women and racial minorities available to meet the hiring goals. The University’s affirmative action program for disabled individuals, disabled veterans, and Vietnam era veterans is similar to the program for women and racial minorities, except that goals are not set." To see the goals that the University has set, and how close they are to reaching them, see the report appendices.
There is much less information available about Affirmative Action programs in admitting students. The goal of the law school's affirmative action programs is to "attract and admit law students from minority and other diverse backgrounds." "It is the sense of the faculty that the desired diversification of the law student body will not be achieved unless minority and other diversity applicants are admitted in more than minimal numbers, but the precise numbers of minority and other diversity applicants to be admitted will depend upon the comparative credentials of all applicants. No racial or ethnic quotas will be fixed which exclude any applicants from consideration for any places in an entering class." Other schools, including the Carlson School of Management, and the Graduate School, have similar policies.
I couldn't find any information on Affirmative Action on undergraduate admissions. The Office for Multiculural and Academic Affairs is responsible for the program, but only has very general information on their website. For example, they have information on what kind of affirmative action programs won't work here, but little information on what they actually do. From examining the undergraduate admissions forms, I discovered that race can be used as a factor in admission for freshman applicants (see the questions on race on page 13), but not for transfer students or non-degree seeking applicants.
This is all the relevant information I could find quickly, I'm going to keep looking for information, so check back for updates.