From The Chronicle of Higher Education comes “In Diversity Gap at Michigan Flagship, Signs of a Lost Public Mission,” which is commentary piece by a U of M professor, Scott Kurashige. The piece is about how U of M is “increasingly becoming a PINO university: public in name only” in large part because of the many out of state students who pay through the nose and the small number of students representing any kind of diversity. As Kurashige puts it, “‘Go Blue’ may be the rallying cry in Ann Arbor, but the most important color is green.”
It’s a smart commentary for sure, but this isn’t exactly new though, and not limited to the “PINO” schools. When I was an undergrad way back in the 1980s at the less elite University of Iowa, there was a lot of effort by the institution to attract out of state students because they paid that much more money. The big out of state population at U of Iowa were folks from suburban Chicago, mainly because Iowa was easier to get into than U of Illinois (still is, I think). Of course, what’s also different now is the sharp decline of support from the state for higher education (this is true in both Iowa and in Michigan, not to mention most of the rest of the U.S.) and the out of control costs of higher education across the board.
I do agree completely with Kurashige’s point about the diversity gap at U of M and really in higher ed generally. That’s what has been the result of the rollback of various affirmative action laws/rules, IMO.