affirmative action

Texas: Racial Preferences Now, Racial Preferences Forever!

The University of Texas has filed its main brief in Fisher v. University of Texas, and it’s a doozy. It argues, among other oddities, that the continuing “underrepresentation” of blacks and Hispanics requires the continued use of racial preferences to increase their numbers, but that the reason for increasing their numbers has nothing to do […]

Read More

Student Voices
Affirmative Action for Colleges?

President Obama issued an executive order on Thursday that created an specific educational initiative for African-Americans. Dubbed the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans, the program aims to increase black children’s access to quality instructors and educational programs from kindergarten to college. While Obama’s professed goal of equal access to a quality education […]

Read More

The Affirmative Action Zealots Have Won: Time to Surrender

For a half century I’ve vehemently opposed racial preferences in higher education. Opposition was partially ideological–I believe in merit–and partly based on sorrowful firsthand experience with affirmative action students and faculty. Though my principles remain unchanged I am now ready to concede defeat, throw in the towel and raise the white flag. Abolishing racial preferences […]

Read More

A Weird Defense of Affirmative Action

Under the headline “Diversity’s Evidences.” Len Niehoff’, described as a “professor from practice” at the University of Michigan law school, offered an almost humorously pathetic defense of “diversity on Inside Higher Ed today. He served on the legal team that defended Michigan in Grutter, which he claims the Court got “exactly right,” and his essay […]

Read More

Affirmative Action Starts to Unravel

Listen closely and you can hear the sound of “diversity” crumbling, this week mixed with laughter over the news that the City University of New York has created two more official diversity groups–“white/Jewish” and “Italian-Americans.” Critics of the new Jewish category claim that “the creation of a label for Jewish professors could be used to […]

Read More

Could “Diversity” Become Mandatory?

Those of us who were disappointed when a divided Supreme Court upheld the distribution of burdens and benefits based on race in Grutter are hopeful that decision might be overturned — or that at least its most deleterious effects might be reined in — when the Court revisits affirmative action next fall in Fisher v. […]

Read More

A Reply to Jonathan Imber

In an engaging but ultimately unpersuasive essay on Minding The Campus (“Affirmative Action, the Bishops and Women’s Colleges”), Jonathan B. Imber, a sociologist at Wellesley College, argues that the dispensation given to private women’s colleges to discriminate against men provides a model that would allow Catholic institutions to protect their religious values from public encroachment […]

Read More

How About a Helpful Armband for Elizabeth

The Boston Globe has a long article revealing in excruciating detail the extent of Harvard’s publicizing of Elizabeth Warren’s self-identified Cherokeness, as well as her lame claim that she was oblivious to the use and usefulness of her alleged ethnicity to her employer. The article reveals one delicious new item, namely that “[t]he administrator responsible […]

Read More

Affirmative Action, the Bishops and Women’s Colleges

Here’s something to think about when debating the position of the Catholic bishops on religious liberty and contraception: all-women colleges are allowed under Federal law to discriminate against men in admissions, at least on the undergraduate level. Because they are private, these colleges are free under the law to design their mission (the education of […]

Read More

What’s an URM and Who Is One?

The recent flap over Elizabeth Warren’s claimed Cherokeeness has both raised and obscured a question at the core of debates over affirmative action: just who should receive the preferential treatment it bestows? The standard answer to that question preferred by those who support the current regime of racial preference is “underrepresented minority,” or URM, a […]

Read More

For Just $195, the Elizabeth Warren Problem Is Solved!

Here’s the answer to the Elizabeth Warren problem: DNA testing. If you believe you are just 1/32nd or 1/64th minority, a simple test–costing just $195–could garner you that elusive admission to an elite college that you may not be qualified for at all. Several commercial products are on the market including Ancestry by DNA and […]

Read More

Harvard’s PR Machine and the Cherokees

Seemingly lily-white Elizabeth Warren’s supposed claim of Cherokee heritage may make for good campaign fodder–incumbent Senator Scott Brown has gone so far as to demand that Warren apologize for allowing Harvard to claim her as a minority–but the real lesson in this latest of partisan battles has more to do with university rather than electoral […]

Read More

Why Harvard Law Took Elizabeth Warren

http://www.examiner.com/article/elizabeth-warren-milked-racial-preferences-for-her-own-gain

Read More

Elizabeth Warren: A Native American Now and Then

From what has been revealed so far, it appears that Elizabeth Warren, Harvard law professor and likely Democratic candidate against Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts, gave herself status as a Native American in the past, which led Harvard and a leading legal directory to identify her as such, but recently she has claimed that she […]

Read More

Stereotype Threat Coming to the Supreme Court

Get ready for a brand new defense of affirmative action that you’ve never heard before: preferences are necessary to assure selection by merit. How can that be? Simple. Just rework Claude Steele’s theory of stereotype threat–that minorities do less well on tests than their abilities warrant out of fear that their performance will confirm negative […]

Read More

“Diversity” Takes More Lumps

“Diversity,” as everyone surely knows by now, is the sole remaining justification for racial preference in higher education allowed by the Supreme Court. Defenders seem to regard it as even more essential to a good education than books in the library or professors behind the podium. But a funny thing has been happening on the […]

Read More

The “Mismatch Thesis,” Eye-Opening Research, and the Fisher Case

As the most important higher-education case in a decade makes its way to the Supreme Court–the Fisher case on racial preferences–UCLA law professor Richard Sander had an excellent series of posts at the Volokh Conspiracy summarizing one critical argument that his research has helped to highlight: that even the ostensible beneficiaries often are harmed (or […]

Read More

Just as We Thought: “Holistic” = Hokum

Inside Higher Ed reports this morning (April 9) about a new study of “holistic” admissions at selective institutions by Rachel Rubin, a doctoral student at the Harvard School of Education, that will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association later this week. Her study confirms, albeit reluctantly, what you already […]

Read More

Surprise! 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Obvious!

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (I am tempted to say even the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals) has once again recognized that treating people without regard to race does not violate the Fourteenth Amendment. In an opinion released April 2, a three-judge panel reaffirmed in no uncertain terms a 1997 Ninth Circuit decision holding […]

Read More

R.I.P. John Payton–But He Was Part of the Problem

“Top civil rights lawyer John Payton dies at 65; Obama calls him ‘champion of equality,’” the Washington Post reported a few days ago. Although Payton, 65, had been a prominent Washington lawyer and, after 2008, director-counsel and president of the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, he is probably best known for arguing a case […]

Read More

Justice Kennedy Should Read Richard Brodhead

The Supreme Court’s decision in Grutter operated on the basis of some unspoken assumptions. One was that regardless of how other applicants were affected, students admitted because of preferences benefited from the decision. Another was that universities could be trusted to handle issues of race fairly and efficiently, or at least more so than could […]

Read More

The Anger of Affirmative Action Advocates

Kevin Carey, policy director at Education Sector, a DC think tank, has a commentary in this week’s Chronicle of Higher Education that signals the kind of rhetoric we may expect from proponents of affirmative action as the Fisher case heads to the Supreme Court. It is a mixture of high-mindedness for one side and denunciation […]

Read More

A Good Debate on Affirmative Action

The third round of a very engaging and amiable debate on affirmative action is here on the National Association of Scholars site. The debaters are James P. Sterba, professor of philosophy at Notre Dame and author of “Affirmative Action for the Future” (pro) and George Leef, a frequent writer here, director of research for the […]

Read More

The Latest Sad Protests at Duke

As KC Johnson explained here a study by social scientists at Duke found that African American students “disproportionately migrate from science and engineering majors to less challenging majors in the humanities,” thus questioning the benefits of preferential admissions. In response, faculty members and student groups protested. It’s important to examine the actual content of those […]

Read More

Admission Standards and How to Lower Them Legally

Surprise, surprise. Affirmation action for college admissions is yet one more time in the hands of the Supreme Court (Fisher v. Texas). Given the Court’s changed personnel from the last go around (Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 2003), race-based preferences may soon be history. But, would this judicial outcome finally doom preferences? Opponents of […]

Read More

What Will the Court Do About Affirmative Action?

As you probably know by now, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear Fisher v. Texas, depending on your point of view a promising or threatening challenge to affirmative action. Major and minor media, blogs, whatever, are all filled with cries of hope or wails of fear that the racial preferences sanctified in Grutter will […]

Read More

More Depressing News from Duke

For insight into the corruption of the modern academy, look no further than Heather MacDonald’s extraordinary article on the recent controversy at Duke. Two Duke professors, Peter Arcidiacono and Ken Spenner, and a graduate student, Esteban Aucejo, produced a paper showing that African-American students at Duke disproportionately migrate from science and engineering majors to less […]

Read More

No Need for Congress to Act–I’m President, So I’ll Do It Myself

Watch this space. I will be posting something shortly (but not short) on a proposed presidential executive order that would impose by White House fiat the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (discussed here and here), which serial Congresses have refused to pass.

Read More

Confusion over Anti-Asian Discrimination

At the request of the unidentified Asian-American student who filed discrimination complaints against Harvard and Princeton, the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has ended its investigation. The civil rights office had folded the complaint against Princeton … into a compliance review begun in 2008 of whether that university discriminates against Asian-Americans. The allegations […]

Read More

The White Male Shortage on Campus

Soviet ideologues were famous for adjusting Marxism to the zigs and zags of history, but they were pikers compared to today’s campus affirmative-action apparatchiks. The latest installment from university diversicrats is–ready for this–affirmative action for men, not black or Hispanic men, but white men (see here and here and especially here). Allan Bakke, come back, […]

Read More