The University Record, May 8, 1995

Brochure spells out commitment to diversity

By Mary Jo Frank
University Relations

"Affirmative Action on the Line" asserts the April 28 Chronicle of Higher Education headline.

In a special 22-page section about affirmative action programs on college campuses across the country, the Chronicle includes the U-M's launching of the Michigan Mandate in 1987 as a milestone on a 1964-95 time line titled "Key Events Affecting Minority Representation in Higher Education."

The U-M entry reads: "The University of Michigan adopts the Michigan Mandate to increase the number of minority faculty members and students. As a result, by 1994 the proportion of minority students rose to 13.7 percent from 7.9 percent, and the proportion of Black undergraduates to 8.3 percent from 5.4 percent."

Many argue that affirmative action is no longer needed, observes President James J. Duderstadt, noting a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey indicating that two out of three Americans oppose affirmative action.

Although implementation of affirmative action is under attack in the political arena, the U-M is committed to the goals of affirmative action, the president says.

"I feel confident that the Michigan Mandate can serve as a model for other entities seeking to achieve broader representation and diversity," he adds.

Diversity at the U-M will be the topic of a June 1 retreat for members of Senate Assembly and the Assembly's Multicultural Committee.

The retreat follows the recent release of a monograph from the Office of the President titled "Diversity at the University of Michigan," which reaffirms the University's commitment to equality and the Michigan Mandate.

The paper provides a brief history of plurality at the U-M and reasons why the University must continue to make diversity the cornerstone of its efforts to achieve national excellence and leadership during the 1990s.

Copies of "Diversity at the University of Michigan" are available by calling 764-6270; writing to the Office of the President, 2074 Fleming Administration Building 1340; or sending an e-mail request to thardy@umich.edu.