Saturday, December 06, 2003

Texas A&M to admit individuals "on personal merit -- and no other basis" 

Contrary to the debate over bake sales and football, Texas A&M says it is not going to use the Michigan cases to create new rules for affirmative action in admissions. Says President Robert Gates,
"My recommendations ... involve two objectives about which I feel quite strongly. The first objective, as I have stated before, is for Texas A&M to better serve all of the citizens of the state of Texas, and that includes a better record in attracting and enrolling minorities. The second objective is that students at Texas A&M should be admitted as individuals, on personal merit -- and no other basis.

We will establish no numerical quotas or targets as we seek to increase the diversity of students who enroll. We only know that where we are is unacceptable, and that the future of Texas A&M depends on being more successful in attracting more minority students to join the Aggie family.
It will still use the essays that could be used to signal race or ethnicity.
[F]uture applicants will be required to complete two state essay questions which were previously optional. These are: "Describe a significant setback, challenge or opportunity in your life and the impact it has had on you," and, "Describe how you, as a student, are a good match with us as a learning community. How will your individual characteristics lead you to make a contribution to our campus?"