(4) N.A.S. Research:
Forced Diversity Has No Educational Benefit!

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The National Association of Scholars (NAS) Disproves U. Michigan's Assertion that Forced Diversity (quotas) Improves Academic Performance!

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          PRINCETON, NJ -- The National Association of Scholars (N.A.S.) released a detailed study on April 4, 2001 titled Is Campus Racial Diversity Correlated with Educational Benefits?  The N.A.S. study made a convincing argument that the University of Michigan misrepresented critical research findings in order to defend its racially discriminatory admissions policies.

          According to N.A.S., the University of Michigan used fatally flawed statistical analyses to defend its race-based student admissions -- racial quotas -- in Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger, two high-profile cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in which the constitutionality of Michigan's use of race in university admissions was challenged. 

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           The University argued that statistical evidence showed a positive connection between a racially diverse student body and positive educational outcomes.  In fact, as the National Association of Scholars' study revealed, the higher education database Michigan used actually demonstrated the contrary -- there is no connection between campus racial diversity and academic achievement.

          Michigan's argument was based upon the only existing, comprehensive database containing extensive student data from a nationally representative sample of campuses with sufficient minority enrollment and performance data vs. non-minority enrollment and performance data.  This database is a product of the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP).  Access to the data is largely controlled by the American Council on Education, a pro-preferences non-profit group, and the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) at UCLA, also a pro-preference organization.

          At this writing, the National Association of Scholars has been denied access to this database by the CIRP and HERI.

          "The [University of Michigan's] analysis [of the CIRP dataset] is simply based on a sleight of hand," said Thomas Wood, coauthor of the NAS report.   "Unable to show a connection between the racial diversity of a student body and alleged educational benefits, the University resorts to a methodological confusion, arguing first that racial diversity is positively related to four intermediate "campus experience variables" (i.e., enrollment in ethnic studies courses, attendance at a racial/intercultural workshop, discussion of racial issues, and interracial socialization) and, next, that these are in turn, (though rather weakly and inconsistently), related to the claimed educational benefits."

          To restate Michigan's statistical analysis:  Racial diversity (or, what we call "forced diversity" or "artificial diversity") is positively correlated to the following four variables which have absolutely nothing to do with grades, intellectual ability, or academic achievement:  (1) enrollment in ethnic studies courses; (2) attendance at a racial / intercultural workshop; (3) discussion of racial issues; and (4) interracial socialization.

          "The University falsely concludes from this that a positive relationship has been established between racial diversity and supposedly beneficial educational outcomes," said Mr. Wood, "but because the Cooperative Institutional Research Program database (CIRP) on which the University relies took account of the four intermediate variables and still found no relationship between racial diversity and educational outcomes, the inference is patently false, as the University and its spokesmen should know."

          "It is unfortunate," said Malcolm Sherman, Professor of Mathematics at the State University of New York/Albany and the report's other author, "that a world-class university like the University of Michigan would twist data that refute its own claims about the educational value of diversity."

To summarize several of the key points made in the N.A.S. report:

  • Anti-preferences groups, such as the National Association of Scholars, have been denied access to the CIRP database upon which Michigan's defense of racially discriminatory policies (quotas) is based.

  • The correlations between "diversity" and educational outcomes proffered by Michigan are statistically insignificant, and the methodology is questionable.

  • Michigan's measures of supposed "educational outcomes" were inadequate and also methodologically questionable.

          N.A.S. President Stephen H. Balch observed that "the consequence of this issue for America's future is so great that anything short of a fully candid treatment of the relevant facts is a profound disservice to the public interest. Our report clarifies the terms of debate."

          This National Association of Scholars' study enlarges on the methodological critique of the University of Michigan's case first made in the brief filed by the NAS in July 2000 in Gratz v. Bollinger.

Additional Reading

NAS Refutation of University of Michigan Diversity Theory
(Is Campus Racial Diversity Correlated with Educational Benefits?)

Download The Full CAS/NAS Diversity Report (in PDF format)

Download The CAS/NAS Executive Summary (in PDF format)

For Further Info:

Contact Stephen H. Balch, President, National Association of Scholars at:

The National Association of Scholars
221 Witherspoon Street, Second Floor
Princeton, NJ 08542-3215
Phone:  (609) 683-7878
Fax:  (609) 683-0316

          The National Association of Scholars is America's foremost higher education reform group. Located in Princeton, it has forty-five state affiliates and more than four thousand professors, graduate students, college and university administrators and trustees as members.

News Articles

"Diversity" doesn't improve education. Not even a little bit. (04/04/01)

          National Review:  "The recent split decision on the University of Michigan's race-based admissions - one judge allowed them for undergraduates, another barred them for the law school - is another example of racial preferences standing on their last leg. And today the National Association of Scholars gave it a good, hard kick to the shin.

          "There appears to be a single argument for racial preferences in admissions that the courts will now consider: The argument that a diverse student body improves education for all students because it is diverse.

          "Except that the evidence isn't at all solid."

          The National Association of Scholars (NAS) analyzed the same data that Michigan used. 

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          Thomas E. Wood, director of the California Association of Scholars, and SUNY-Albany statistician Malcolm J. Sherman revealed how Michigan selectively ignored information devastating to their "diversity" cause. Wood and Sherman get right to the point in describing what Michigan did:

"It is quite possible that the University of Michigan has been deliberately misrepresenting the data. The alternative hypothesis, of course, is that the University's own researchers are misrepresenting the data out of simple methodological confusion and error. Neither hypothesis does credit to the University."

          "Wood and Sherman conclude that there is no correlation between racial diversity and educational outcomes."

(Based on the 04/04/01 National Review article by John J. Miller & Ramesh Ponnuru)

[Last known link: http://www.nationalreview.com/daily/nrprint040401.html]

END (4)  N.A.S Research: Forced Diversity Has No Educational Benefit
April 4, 2001


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Forced Diversity Has No Educational Benefit
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