Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Utah Medical School Accused of Favoring Women, Minorities. (Noteworthy News)

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Utah Medical School Accused of Favoring Women, Minorities. (Noteworthy News)

Article excerpt

SALT LAKE CITY

Three members of a legislative committee have accused the University of Utah of favoring women and minority applicants to its medical school despite legislative opposition to the practice.

"You deny using quotas. But it seems there's a real commitment to ratios," said Rep. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, referring to a January legislative audit that found women and minority applicants are accepted by the state's only medical school at twice the rate of their White male counterparts.

Backed by Rep. Katherine Bryson, R-Orem, and Sen. Bill Hickman, R-St. George, Dayton reprimanded the medical school and asked lawmakers to address a diversity policy recently drafted by the state board of regents. She contends it conflicts with the state's nondiscrimination policy.

"We are focusing on diversity as something we should celebrate over academic excellence," Dayton said.

Loris Betz, dean of the medical school, denied the university has compromised excellence. The medical school's graduates score in the country's top quarter in grades, secure highly competitive residencies and score above average on their board exams, he said.

Sen. Paula Julander, D-Salt Lake City, expressed concern that people assume female and minority applicants are less qualified and that the university has to scrape bottom to boost diversity. …

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