A report released Monday by the Center for Equal Opportunity, a conservative think thank, says the University of Oklahoma showed preference to African-American and American-Indian applicants in undergraduate, law and medical school admissions decisions, the Associated Press reports.
The report comes as Oklahoma voters prepare to take up State Question 759, which would ban current policies requiring state agencies to submit affirmative action plans, according to the Oklahoma Gazette.
The study, which analyzed data from the university's medical school during the 1990s and from the law and undergraduate programs between 2005 and 2007, suggests the proof is in the numbers. Roger Clegg, the group's president and general counsel, called the findings "disappointing but not surprising."
Linda Chavez, Center for Equal Opportunity's founder and chairman, said in a release, “It should not matter to a university whether an applicant has a particular skin color or what country his or her ancestors came from. In an increasingly multiracial and multiethnic society, the use of racial preferences is unacceptable.”
The university denies the report's claims, saying it does not use race as a criterion in admissions. The university recently adopted a "holistic" admissions policy, one that allows the university to admit students who are normally automatically rejected, according to NewsOK.
Commenting earlier this fall on Fisher vs. The University of Texas, a potential landmark case concerning affirmative action in college admissions, University of Oklahoma spokeswoman Catherine Bishop said the school wouldn't feel the impact of a decision.
Bishop told the Associated Press on Monday that race is not a factor in the admissions process and expressed disappointment that the Center for Equal Opportunity did not include input from the university when researching and writing its report.