We’re approaching the ten-year anniversary of Michigan’s vote to ban affirmative action within publicly funded institutions.
Proposal 2 — called the “Michigan Civil Rights Initiative” — was passed with 58 percent of the vote in 2006. It was challenged in federal court, but was ultimately upheld and deemed constitutional. In 2008 all of Michigan’s public colleges and universities were required to stop considering race as a factor in their admissions processes.
The argument from universities in favor of affirmative action was racial diversity is an important part of the higher-ed experience.
Since 2008, however, universities have struggled to stave-off declining enrollment of black undergraduate students. In 2008, seven percent of students at University of Michigan were black, down now to just five percent. Michigan State went from eight percent, now down to seven percent. Wayne State University went from 31 percent to 19 percent. All of these declines happened while the black share of the population in the state has steadily increased.
Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson looks at those trends and asks, what can universities do to combat the loss of black enrollment in a post-affirmative action era?
Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.