Category Archives: Affirmative Action


Education Dept. Dismisses Asian-American Groups’ Bias Complaint Against Harvard

[Updated (7/7/2015, 5:24 p.m.) with more information.]

The U.S. Department of Education has dismissed a complaint against Harvard University that asserted it had discriminated against Asian-American students in undergraduate admissions. Bloomberg News reports the complaint was dismissed in June because a similar lawsuit is being considered by a federal court.

The complaint was filed in May by more than 60 Asian-American groups. They said Harvard’s undergraduate admissions office, by seeking a ra…


Asian-American Groups Seek Federal Investigation of Alleged Bias at Harvard

More than 60 Asian-American groups have accused Harvard University of discriminating against applicants for their ethnic backgrounds in complaints filed with the Justice Department and the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights.

The federal complaints, the latest in a long line of legal attacks against Harvard for alleged anti-Asian bias, accuse the university of violating federal civil-rights laws by systematically discriminating against Asian-American applicants. The complaints allege …


Diversity Declined at Medical Schools Barred From Considering Applicants’ Race

Report: “Racial Diversity in the Medical Profession: The Impact of Affirmative Action Bans on Underrepresented Student of Color Matriculation in Medical Schools”

Authors: Liliana M. Garces, assistant professor of higher education at Pennsylvania State University at University Park, and David Mickey-Pabello, doctoral student in sociology at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Summary: The study, published in the March/April issue of The Journal of Higher Education, attempts to gauge how medic…


Supreme Court Is Last Hope for Affirmative-Action Critics in ‘Fisher’ Case

[Updated (11/12/2014, 5:20 p.m) to include a statement from the university.]

The last hope for critics of affirmative action in the case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin is the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Wednesday denied a petition for a full hearing by the court, setting the stage for a second showdown in the Supreme Court, should it choose to take the case.

The high court heard the case about race-conscious admissions last year, but punted it …


Affirmative-Action Policy Is Found to Reduce Achievement Gaps

Affirmative-action policies can help motivate underrepresented minority students before they apply to college and, as a result, can help narrow achievement gaps across demographic groups, concludes a report released on Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The report concerns an experiment in which students in the fifth through eighth grades competed for cash prizes and were paid according to their relative performance on a national mathematics examination. The study was designed t…


Texas Ruling Is Called Threat to Efforts to Move Beyond Race in Admissions

A recent federal-court ruling upholding race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas at Austin looms as a threat to other colleges’ efforts to achieve diversity without racial preferences, several leading critics of affirmative action argue in urging that the decision be overturned.

Last month’s 2-to-1 ruling in favor of Texas by a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit clears the way for other colleges to abandon effective race-neutral efforts at enrolling a …


Calif.’s Racial-Preferences Ban Sharply Cut Black Admissions at Law Schools

California’s 1996 ban on race-conscious college admissions reduced by half black admission rates at two of the state’s top law schools, according to a paper released on Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The paper used data on a sample of graduates from an elite college to estimate the effect of the ban on black admissions outcomes at law schools of the University of California’s Berkeley and Los Angeles campuses. It said that the ban had reduced the black admission rate from …


Appeal in Texas Affirmative-Action Case Says Judges Disobeyed Supreme Court

A federal appeals-court panel wandered far from instructions given it by the U.S. Supreme Court in upholding the race-conscious undergraduate admissions policy at the University of Texas at Austin, lawyers challenging the policy argue in a brief filed on Tuesday.

In asking the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to overturn a decision by a panel of three of its judges in favor of the university, the lawyers for the plaintiff in the case, a white student denied admission in 2008, say…


U. of Wisconsin Disputes Column Connecting Diversity Plan and Grading

The University of Wisconsin at Madison is disputing a column by an emeritus professor who argued that language in a campus-diversity plan calls for racial equity in the distribution of grades. The university says the professor misrepresented that effort, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

The professor, W. Lee Hansen, wrote in the column that a recently approved diversity plan was based in part on a line in a 2009 document approved by the Wisconsin system’s Board of Regents. He called atten…


Planner of Raid That Killed Bin Laden Could Lead U. of Texas

Adm. William H. McRaven, leader of the U.S. Special Operations Command, is a top candidate to be chancellor of the University of Texas system, the Austin American-Statesman reported on Saturday. Admiral McRaven, who planned the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, in 2011, earned a degree in journalism from the university’s Austin campus in 1977 and began his military training as a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps there. His speech in May to the graduating class of that campus, includi…