Black Freshman Enrollments Plummet at the University of Michigan

In 2006 voters in Michigan overwhelmingly approved Proposal 2, which was also called by the deceptive misnomer, The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative. This initiative prohibited the University of Michigan and other state universities from using race as a factor in their admissions process.

In 2005, the year before the voter referendum, there were 443 blacks in the first-year class. They made up 7.2 percent of all freshmen. This year there are 290 black freshman students. This is down nearly 35 percent from 2005, when race-sensitive admissions were permitted. This year blacks are 4.8 percent of the entering class.

Mary Sue Coleman, president of the University of Michigan, stated, “While we continue to avoid the precipitous losses seen by our peer institutions in states where similar laws exist, this trend is troubling. I am concerned about our diversity losses in the incoming class, and am working with staff to redouble our outreach efforts.”

The university reports that this fall, blacks make up 6.2 percent of all undergraduate students and 5.9 percent of all graduate students on campus. All told, there are 2,158 black students on campus out of a total of 41,674.