Author: John S. Rosenberg

John Rosenberg blogs at Discriminations.

Tricking Voters to Accept Racial Preferences

The margin of victory for Washington state voters who opposed the return of affirmative action has been inching up. A few days ago, it was .6%, about 13,000 votes. As of Friday night, November 15, it was 1.08%, around 21,000 votes. It should continue to increase as the remaining returns come in. In my recent […]

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Washington State Voters Reject Affirmative Action, Again

All the votes cast on November 5 in the “duplicitous attempt” to bring affirmative action back to Washington state have not been counted, but since the counties with large numbers of uncounted ballots all voted heavily against affirmative action it is now all but certain that attempt fell short. As of Monday morning, November 11, […]

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A Duplicitous Attempt to Rescue Affirmative Action

Despite all the attention that has been devoted to Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard in which a U.S. District judge in Boston recently held that Harvard’s discrimination against Asian applicants was not illegal, the next chapter in the generations-old battle over affirmative action will not be written by the First Circuit in Boston or […]

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Why Harvard’s Affirmative Action Victory Should Be Overturned

The recent affirmative action opinion (discussed here) in Students For Fair Admissions v. Harvard University held that Harvard’s discrimination against Asians did not amount to discrimination. Despite the victory of Harvard and the entire higher education hierarchy, committed as it is to using racial preferences to promote “diversity,” there is a reason to believe this […]

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Will SCOTUS Back Harvard’s Affirmative Action Win?

A few days ago, Judge Allison Burroughs, appointed by President Obama to the Federal District of Massachusetts, issued her decision in Students For Fair Admissions v. Harvard College in which the plaintiffs claimed that affirmative action preferences awarded to blacks and Hispanics amounted to illegal discrimination against Asians. It’s a doozy, by which I mean […]

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Doing Physics While Black

If “diversity” is not only good but an essential core ingredient of a quality education, as the current academic mantra insists, then physics — the least diverse of all fields (blacks earned 2% of bachelor’s degrees in 2015) — has a big problem. Now Stanford claims to have a solution. “Physics faculty and students are […]

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Intimidation-Produced Silence at Stanford

Back in the late middle of the last century I attended Stanford for my last three years of college and my last three years of graduate school. Since then I have looked in vain for the dividend checks from that investment, but one thing I have received with some regularity is the alumni magazine. Along […]

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Liberals and the Looming Big Money Problem Facing Higher Education

Today’s liberals not only tolerate but encourage colleges and universities to give preferences based on race (see affirmative action and the College Board’s new “adversity” score). Now they want to prohibit giving preferential admissions treatment based on … well, it’s not completely clear, but family wealth comes pretty close. As a result, many defenders of […]

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News and Fake News About College Admissions

As demonstrated by both the complaint that Harvard discriminates against Asians (the Boston federal district judge’s decision is presumably imminent) and the furor over the spreading pay-to-admit scandal of rich parents buying their kids’ admission to selective colleges, affirmative action remains a hotly contested matter of ongoing public debate. The latest brouhaha comes from Washington […]

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Harvard Flinches and Admits a Few More Asians

Despite being a small minority (5.8%) of the U.S. population, Asian-Americans have long been, and remain, at the center of current controversies over college admissions. Consider the relationship, if any, among the following: Students For Fair Admissions suing Harvard for discrimination against Asians. Harvard’s Admitted Class Has Record Share of Asian Americans. “Last week, Harvard […]

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Two Shaky Reasons Why Harvard Could Win Its Racial Bias Suit

The hearing last week in the case of Students For Fair Admissions v. Harvard College, presumably the last until the judge offers her opinion, witnessed the unfortunate prominence of both a red herring and a red flag. The Boston Globe captured both the red herring and a red flag in its lede: “US District Judge […]

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Undocumented Students and Affirmative Action

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is on everyone’s short list as a primary building block of any possible compromise between President Trump and the Democrats on immigration. Thus, it is surprising how little attention has been paid to the striking similarities between the debate over that issue and the equally contentious debate over affirmative […]

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Can A University Be Found Liable For Telling The Truth About Racial Preference?

We may be about to find out whether a university can be found liable for giving accurate advice to an applicant. Inside Higher Ed reported yesterday that Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia is being sued by a rejected applicant to its medical school for, among other things, providing advice in an interview that in all […]

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When Identities Clash, Who Wins–Victim or Perp?

“After a University of Nebraska at Lincoln student was sexually assaulted in her dormitory last month,” Inside Higher Ed reports, the university came under intense fire “by students who thought police should not have mentioned in a campus-wide bulletin that two men accused of sexual assault were black, believing that it reinforced harmful stereotypes.” The […]

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Is Being Black a Badge of Merit?

 The question of whether, or to what degree, applicants are admitted or hired because they are black or Hispanic (or American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (NHPI)) is a central and indeed indispensable component of the ongoing debate over affirmative action. Now, if a recent Classics meeting in San Diego is any indication, […]

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Darpa image on spectrometers

The Push for Unconstitutional College Programs

There they go again. Inside Higher Ed reports on a new handwringing study lamenting the “underrepresentation” of members of various “Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Groups” (URGs) among engineering students. The study by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, funded by the National Science Foundation, found, as all such studies always find, that “Hispanic and […]

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Why Harvard Needs Better Defense Lawyers

By now, it is clear to all observers that the most damaging material that Harvard has been forced to release in the lawsuit filed by Students For Fair Admissions is powerful evidence that Asian applicants, who score higher than applicants from other racial and ethnic groups on grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities, are graded […]

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the poison of identity politics

“Diversity” Rests on Racialist Assumptions

Sometimes the utter intellectual hollowness of a program is most clearly revealed by its unctuous but unwitting advocates. A perfect example is “Fostering Diversity on Campus to Strengthen Maine’s Healthcare System,” which the University of New England actually paid to have published in the Chronicle of Higher Education. The advertorial begins with a profile of Samuel Acha, […]

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Manchurian Candidate

Loyalty Oaths, Diversity Mandates, Faculty ‘Training’ at San Diego State

Higher education has become obsessed with intense devotion to the all-encompassing cult of “diversity,” and as usual, California is leading the way. New loyalty oaths have become so demanding that, as Heather Mac Donald has written in the Los Angeles Times, even Einstein probably could not be hired on a public California university campus today. […]

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Asian students

Education Journals Show the Flag for Harvard in Lawsuit

The coverage of Students For Fair Admissions v. Harvard College reveals as much about the state of “diversity” in the press, especially the specialized education industry press, as the trial itself does about Harvard’s practices. Inside Higher Ed I have criticized the bias of Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed’s editor and one of its three […]

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Harvard’s Strip Tease About Wealth and Race

The trial of Students For Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College began last week in federal district court in Boston to determine whether “Fair Harvard” treats its Asian-American applicants, and perhaps others, equitably. The SFFA plaintiffs claim Harvard discriminates against Asian-American applicants, and others, every which way from Sunday, but it is […]

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Is Affirmative Action Near Its Expiration Date?

Writing in the Washington Post, Megan McArdle points to the threat to racial preferences posed by the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, noting that although his nomination has led to much handwringing over the fate of Roe v. Wade, the future of “another landmark case,” Regents of the University of California v. […]

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Asian students

Harvard, Not Trump, Could Kill Affirmative Action

Editor’s note: Even though the Trump administration has reversed Obama era affirmative action policies as they apply to schools, and even though Trump will likely appoint another conservative Supreme Court Justice before the end of the year, academia will continue to write its own rules and institute its own policies on racial preferences. More important […]

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Harvard Says Asians Lack Courage, Kindness, Likability

As a freshman applicant to Washington & Lee University just after the middle of the last century, I had an interview with Frank Gilliam, its legendary, long-time dean of admissions (he could recognize and call by name any student or former student who attended during his 30+ year tenure). Naively — from a small town […]

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Stung by Charlottesville Riot, UVA Limits Free Speech

Charlottesville is still recovering — or trying to recover — from the chaos of last August when the city and its centerpiece, the University of Virginia, were “invaded,” as people here say, by extreme right-wing demonstrators, who were attacked by extreme left-wing Antifa counter-demonstrators. Evidence of the continuing fallout from the August clashes abound. Here […]

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Amy Wax - National Review

Why Was Professor Amy Wax Punished?

Nearly 10 years ago, Penn law professor Amy Wax wrote an excellent book, Race, Wrongs, and Remedies: Group Justice in the 21st Century. Last summer she co-authored a Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed arguing that all cultures are not equal. It provoked a virtual implosion at Penn and beyond. Now she’s done it again, becoming a larger […]

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Race and Gender Crowd Already in Mid-Season Form

There is so much zany nonsense erupting on campuses these days that many items deserving notice get buried in the avalanche. Here are three from the past weeks that, while perhaps not each warranting a full-fledged article, are too good to ignore. Charlottesville: No Violence From “Our” Side? Walt Heinecke somehow finds time to serve […]

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Our Exquisitely Sensitive Academic Culture

“Mind your Ps and Qs,” Wikipedia tells us, “is an English expression meaning ‘mind your manners,’ ‘mind your language,’ ‘be on your best behavior.’” Recent advice provided in the Chronicle of Higher Education suggests that academic conference goers also need to mind their PC. The Chronicle’s July 7 “Daily Briefing” to subscribers links to two […]

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Is “Gender Balance” the New Quota System?

The Chronicle of Higher Education fretted recently about the lack of “gender balance” among college presidents. Women have achieved “gender parity” in the Ivy League, but “the Ivy League, with its eight institutions, is an outlier. Overall in higher education, the share of women presidents has barely budged, remaining at about 25 percent over the […]

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Re-Educating Whites on Campus

Colleges are now increasingly busy herding faculty members into racial equity training seminars where they are urged to examine and eliminate their white privilege, implicit bias, and role in maintaining institutional racism. It’s as though Mao’s Cultural Revolution has come to campuses everywhere. One such effort recently erupted into bitter dissension at Duke Divinity School […]

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