Group recruits failed UW applicants for possible lawsuit - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Group recruits failed UW applicants for possible lawsuit

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Applicants who failed to get into UW-Madison are being recruited to channel their frustrations into a possible lawsuit, over admission policies.

Much of the recruitment by the conservative, Virginia-based non-profit group Project on Fair Representation is through social media, with a web site titled "The University of Wisconsin Madison/Not Fair.

On social media, the group suggests applicants may have been rejected because they are the wrong race.

"It's remarkable just how many qualified students have been turned down, and we believe, but for the race they are, they would have been admitted to the University of Wisconsin," Project on Fair Representation director Edward Blum says.

In addition to UW, the group has targeted failed applicants at Harvard and North Carolina, for possible legal action over race-conscious admission policies.

In a University of Texas case last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled stricter scrutiny needed to be applied to university race-conscious policies and their diversity goals.

Blum says the outreach to failed UW applicants has been successful. "We have heard from dozens and dozens of kids, telling us their stories."

Blum maintains UW has failed to follow the high court's direction to exhaust race-neutral alternatives, before incorporating race into admissions.

In a statement last month, a UW-Madison official said academics are weighted most significantly in admissions decisions.

"No student is accepted solely due to any non-academic factor," Provost Paul DeLuca said in the statement.

DeLuca said a comprehensive review of an applicant's entire record is involved in assessing applicants.

"We have reviewed our policies...and believe this approach is appropriate and consistent with the law," DeLuca writes. DeLuca, nor any other UW-Madison official involved with admissions, was available to comment to 27 News Tuesday.

Blum says a decision on whether any failed UW-Madison applicants will file a lawsuit with the help of his group is expected this fall.
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