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U-M honored by National Black MBA Assn.

The National Black MBA Association has named the University the Outstanding Educational Institute of the Year for making the greatest contribution toward encouraging Blacks to enter the field of business.

U-M was honored for its court battle to weigh an applicant’s race or ethnicity when making admissions decisions at the Law School.

“This is one of several awards the University has received for its commitment to diversity and excellence,” says Lester Monts, senior vice provost for academic affairs and senior counselor to the president for the arts, diversity and undergraduate affairs. “It also speaks volumes in support of the stand the University has taken in the courts to ensure that the halls of academia remain open to students from diverse backgrounds.”

The lawsuit, Grutter v. Bollinger,, is a challenge to the consideration of race as one of many factors employed to create a diverse learning environment. The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in May supporting the University’s admissions policies in this case. The Center for Individual Rights, which filed the two lawsuits in fall 1997, has appealed that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This is the second consecutive year that U-M was selected for the award, which was announced at the association’s annual conference in Nashville in September. Alvin Brown, chairman of the association, praises the University for defending its admissions policies.

“The University of Michigan and its law school are fighting for a diversity plan that guarantees young people of all races access to a learning environment rich in varied cultures and steeped in traditions that they might otherwise never be exposed to,” he says.

The association is the world’s largest organization of Black business professionals dedicated to promoting higher education and entrepreneurship among Blacks. The Chicago-based association, which began in 1970, has more than 6,000 members. For more information, visit

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