The University must immediately stop using affirmative action admissions, an appeals court said last week. In response, the University has halted the processing of all applications until Jan. 10 while the administration considers its options.
On Dec. 29, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a six-month delay granted earlier in the month by a lower court that delayed the implementation of Proposal 2 at Wayne State University, Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. The three universities had asked for the delay to avoid admitting part of next fall’s class under one set of guidelines and the other part under another.
Students whose applications were processed on or before Dec. 29 will still receive notification of their application status, and the University is still accepting new applications. University spokeswoman Julie Peterson said she expects the University will continue to receive new applications during this period.
Peterson said that although the University has formulated plans for post-Proposal 2 admissions, she refused to release the details. She said the University will announce changes to its admissions policies by Jan. 10.
In the original stay request, the University had argued that changing admissions procedures partway through the application cycle is unfair to incoming students.
Changing standards after students had already applied could disenfranchise some students, lawyers for the three universities argued in court documents.
Despite the debate over Proposal 2, Chris Lucier, associate director of admissions, said applications are up 7 percent this year over last year. So far the University has filled about half of next year’s freshman class, he said.
Pro-affirmative action group By Any Means Necessary plans to continue to fight Proposal 2, said Maricruz Lopez, chair of the University’s chapter of BAMN. She said the group hopes that Michigan State University, Wayne State, and the University of Michigan will work with BAMN to fight the Sixth Circuit’s decision, perhaps taking it as far as the U.S. Supreme Court.
But in its opinion overturning the injunction that had delayed Proposal 2’s implementation, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals said there was no legal basis for the case to be taken to federal court. The appeals court said that if such a delay was necessary, a state court would grant it.