A Year After Preferential Treatment Ban, Little Change On State’s Campuses

Tim Goral's picture
Wednesday, May 9, 2012

 It’s been more than a year since Arizona voters banned preferential treatment in state services based on race, ethnicity and gender – but little has changed on the state’s university campuses in that time.

Undergraduate enrollment officials say they never considered race in the first place – others say the schools were never selective enough for race to make a difference – and that minority enrollment has actually increased slightly.

The state’s professional schools have seen a slight dip in minority enrollment, but say it’s too early to tell if it’s because of the law. In the meantime, they said they have found other ways to maintain a diverse class. And campus programs targeting specific groups still operate under their original intent to “serve an underrepresented population” but officials say they meet the new law.

“We, some time ago, took a look at all programs, services, selection process and the like to ensure there aren’t any concerns regarding participations or selections and involvement on the basis of race,” said James Rund, senior vice president of educational outreach and student services at Arizona State University. There are not, he said.

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