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.
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.
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:
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
between "diversity" and educational outcomes proffered by Michigan are
statistically insignificant, and the methodology is 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.
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:
Stephen H. Balch, President, National Association of Scholars at:
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
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
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
"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
"Wood and Sherman conclude that there is no correlation between racial diversity and
(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