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Mary Sue Coleman Gets Her Answer

When the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative was overwhelmingly passed by the good people of the lakes, the University of Michigan was humbled like few universities ever are. Its entire diversity orthodoxy—of preferring some skin colors over others—was rejected by the people. At the time, the president of the University of Michigan, Mary Sue Coleman, declared her intention to subvert the will of these people (who are in aggregate her bosses and her school’s funders) by suing to overturn the constitutional amendment. She was cheered on by the same interest groups which campaigned unsuccessfully against the proposition. She promised to get her lawyers on it. The fires were primed.

Just a few weeks later, University President Mary Sue Coleman has her answer: No can do. As Inside Higher Ed reports, the collective wisdom of the citizens of Michigan has rather permanently trumped that of U. Mich, and Coleman is now looking merely for ways to implement the law—which comes into effect on December 22—while maintaining “diversity.” They are calling it a search for a “blueprint” of compliance.

The University transgressed a basic liberal value. The voters called foul, and justice descended. And the University tried—for a proud but fleeting moment—to subvert order. It failed, and all is right as rain.


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