NEWS
June 13, 2018

Harvard president issues defense of affirmative action as lawsuit proceeds

A federal lawsuit challenging Harvard University’s affirmative action policies is about to go to trial, with the Justice Department backing claims of plaintiffs who say the university is discriminating against Asian-American applicants.

At one level, the case is only about Harvard, but the university’s policies are similar to those of many other institutions with competitive admissions — so a defeat for the university could set legal precedents far beyond Cambridge.

Against that backdrop, Drew Faust, in her last month as Harvard’s president, on Tuesday sent the campus a message pledging that the university would vigorously defend its policies. (Lawrence Bacow, who will succeed Faust, has also pledged to defend the university’s diversity efforts.)

Faust’s message didn’t break new legal ground in laying out Harvard’s argument. But it suggested concerns that some of the data the plaintiffs will present may raise questions about the university’s policies in people’s minds. The plaintiffs have repeatedly cited the high SAT scores and grades of Asian-American applicants who are rejected to suggest that they must be victims of discrimination.

Those who oppose the consideration of race in admissions have picked up this theme, noting that elite universities that do not consider race in admissions end up with larger Asian-American shares of their classes than do institutions such as Harvard, at which 22.7 percent of incoming students last year were Asian. (At the University of California, Berkeley, last fall, 39 percent of new students were Asian-American.)

In her message to the campus, Faust warned the following of the plaintiffs’ arguments: “These claims will rely on misleading, selectively presented data taken out of context. Their intent is to question the integrity of the undergraduate admissions process and to advance a divisive agenda.”

While Harvard and other universities sometimes avoid comments on ongoing legal battles, Faust indicated that would not be the case with this trial.

“As this case generates widespread attention and comment, Harvard will react swiftly and thoughtfully to defend diversity as the source of our strength and our excellence — and to affirm the integrity of our admissions process. A diverse student body enables us to enrich, to educate, and to challenge one another,” she wrote.

“As a university community, we are bound across differences by a shared commitment to learning, to pursuing truth, and to embracing the rigor and respect of argument and evidence. We never give up on the promise of a world made better by an assumption revisited, an understanding expanded, or a truth questioned — again and again and again.”

In her message, Faust pointed to a Harvard website with more information about the university’s defense of its practices. Harvard maintains that it considers race and ethnicity, among many other factors, in building a class, but that it does so without quotas.

The Harvard website suggests that the university’s defense may be similar to that used by Princeton University when it was investigated on similar charges — and in 2015 cleared of discrimination — by the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights.

Princeton never denied, nor has Harvard, denying admissions to numerous highly qualified Asian-American applicants with stellar credentials. Princeton’s argument was that it rejects so many people of all ethnic backgrounds that there was no evidence of bias. An OCR report suggested that the argument was convincing to government investigators.

“The university told OCR that 82 percent of the valedictorians in the applicant pool for the Class of 2010 were not admitted, and over 50 percent of applicants with perfect SAT I scores of 2,400 were not admitted,” the OCR report said. “The university added that for the Class of 2010 — for which the university admitted only 1,790 students — there were more than 6,300 applicants who had SAT scores of 750 or higher on the math portion of the test, and there were more than 4,800 applicants that year who scored 750 or higher on the verbal portion of the SAT. More than 5,600 applicants for the Class of 2010 alone had GPAs of 4.0 or higher.”

On its website, Harvard is releasing similar statistics about its own admissions practices. Specifically, the university is saying that “perfect” test scores and grades don’t assure anyone of admission.

“In a recent admissions cycle (in which fewer than 2,000 applicants out of approximately 40,000 were admitted), over 8,000 domestic applicants had perfect GPAs, over 3,400 applicants had perfect SAT math scores [and] over 2,700 applicants had perfect SAT verbal scores,” the university says.

Edwin Blum, chief strategist for those suing Harvard, declined to comment on Faust’s statements, saying that the plaintiffs would release their responses in court filings.

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Much of the upmarket housing being develop is owned via complex...
 
More than 20,000 UK students are paying for rooms owned by...
 
THE Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Malaysia and Universiti...
 
IN a joint effort to encourage and sustain efforts towards excellence...
 
KEEN to take up the challenge of addressing social issues that...
 
EDUCATION Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad punching out on the...
 
Secondary school students are challenged to present real world issues in...
 
THIRTY two students from Universiti Teknologi Mara Sabah’s Faculty of Hotel...
 
SOME time is needed to restructure the former higher education ministry...
 
A good relationship is the necessary foundation on which all other...
 
BERJAYA University College once again hosted the Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs National...
 
A report ranks the most popular attractions around the world by...
 
RESEARCHERS have discovered new natural compounds in a fig plant species...
 
IN conjunction with the national Teachers Day celebrations, Petrosains, The Discovery...
 
IT is essential to recognise the impact that teachers have on...
 
CONTRIBUTIONS of teachers should never be ignored. …...
 
UNIVERSITI Tenaga Nasional (Uniten), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tenaga Nasional...
 
AS one of the oldest British international schools in Southeast Asia,...
 
SUNWAY University’s School of Hospitality recently hosted the British Malaysian Chamber...
 
Newly appointed Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik needs to know what...
 
COMPLETE with cowboy hats and boots, it was a Teachers Day...
 
Event for new support group, LGBTed, will coincide with section 28...
 
The University of Southern California announced late Friday that C.L. Max Nikias...
 
An Oklahoma teacher’s account of her school district, from the classrooms...
 
A curriculum that teaches one side of the story risks creating...
 
Backdrop to exam season is mounting concern about student mental health...
 
“Publix knows we’re not going away,” one gun-control activist said. Powered...
 
Godlessness. Too many doors in schools. Ritalin. Guess what’s not on...
 
The U.S. Education Department just warned school districts that give the...
 
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos apparently wasn’t around to see it, but...
 
A journalism professor stole university property and sold it for personal...
 
I felt financially trapped; I had borrowed to get to this...
 
Nurses were once seen as bedside helpers – now, they perform...
 
Students engaged with the health service discuss what can be done...
 
San Diego State University’s provost resigned from his position suddenly this...
 
John Ungerleider, a professor of peacebuilding and conflict transformation at the...
 
Northwestern University will inaugurate a new football practice and athletics facility,...
 
After disclosing my diagnosis, colleagues called me ‘reckless’ and cut off...
 
But the former Princeton professor reread his now-famous student’s project about...
 
School districts across the United States are desperately looking for ways...
 
Funding cuts in England mean children are losing out in rural...
 
  New York City education officials want to close PS 25...
 
Regulator warns schools of more variation than usual after reforms in...
 
Listening to students’ stories can help them regain a sense of...
 
From using flashcards to cramming with purpose, the 2018 champions share...
 
In 2013, the Chicago school district closed 49 elementary schools and...
 
Exclusive: study of schools in capital finds dangerous levels of fine...
 
A number of colleges and universities banned faculty-undergraduate dating or otherwise...
 
The great American novelist Philip Roth, who died Tuesday at 85,...
 
The University of California, Los Angeles, will cover only $100,000 in...
 
The University of Cambridge is facing internal criticism over plans to...
 
  While serving as U.S. Secretary of Education in the 1990s...
 
Long delay between checks raises concerns that standards may have slipped...
 
The education secretary said it’s a local decision, but she didn’t...
 
For those in professional roles, such as management accountants, having a...
 
If it doesn’t make more effort to admit young people from...
 
As the service responds to changing demand and medical advances, more...
 
The health service has been through many changes since 1948 –...
 
“I was black and from a working-class neighborhood in Chicago, while...
 
C.L. Max Nikias has raised billions of dollars for the University...
 
In drafting a regulatory agenda for the oversight bodies for higher...
 
You probably wouldn’t know if a scandal broke out at Taylor...
 
The image of the recent college graduate working as a Starbucks...
 
Lack of sufficient financial aid has forced Jocelyn Ramirez to work...
 
Some teachers are trading red grading pens like this one for...
 
The upset comes after widespread teacher protests over pension and education...
 
Remember when leaders of the two major teachers unions were furious...
 
Figures show one in four of colleges failed to admit a...
 
Critics say UCL research calls into question government’s plans to expand...
 
How a commitment to widening access has led to a rise...
 
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos appeared before the House education committee on...
 
Testing perpetuates systemic inequalities, and it isn’t even an accurate indicator...
 
Malachi Pearson’s story resonated with people of color on Twitter, who...
 
Their agenda would steer $100 billion toward schools and salaries and...
 
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos praised legislation called the PROSPER Act now...
 
PUTRAJAYA: The new government will continue to implement the Malaysia Education...
 
The lingua franca of the ‘establishment’ is now only spoken by...
 
After one writer shared an inspirational reconnection, we’d like to hear...
 
Research is reviewed in a rigorous manner, by expert peers. Yet teaching...
 
The biggest chain of for-profit colleges that is still overseen by...
 
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education has hired as its...
 
Fallout from the closure of Mount Ida College continued this week...
 
A London prep school has spent tens of thousands on filters...
 
Even your chief wallah has no proof it is value for...
 
A London academy is recruiting a fundraiser to boost its budget...
 
Mississippi requires 180 days of instruction each year. Photo: Jackie Mader/The...
 
PUTRAJAYA: Both the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 and the Malaysia Education...
 
Students at a charter school near Washington, D.C. Photo: Astrid Riecken...
 
  A liberal arts education can be a transformative experience, but...
 
Specific compliments for newly gained skills decorate the walls in a...
 
Supporters of planned changes say country can be a global leader...
 
Only 245 students from north-east England started medicine and dentistry degrees...
 
Before she was appointed U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos was...
 
The solution to today’s puzzle In my puzzle blog earlier today I set you the following problem:...
 
Exchange student Sabika Sheikh, 17, was weeks from returning to Pakistan,...
 
There are 13,000 business schools on Earth. That’s 13,000 too many....
 
Two studies on elementary schools published in June 2018 point to...
 
Cambridge University’s minority ethnic students can now request to see a...
 
A pair of surveys last year from the Pew Research Center...
 
At the end of 2016, 16 universities entered into an agreement...
 
The U.S. Education Department is investigating whether Yale University discriminates against...
 
Join in the celebrations Hi guzzlers, My Monday Puzzle column celebrates its third...
 
Government urged to take steps to reduce the impact of toxic...
 
Education Secretary Betsy Devos at the Teacher of the Year ceremony...
 
Earlier this year, the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)...
 
“For [Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick] to be making those moronic...
 
The incoming NRA president, who once promoted a violent video game,...
 
“Our teachers are part of that well-run militia” mentioned in the...
 
FOR young playwrights and theatrical directors with a strict budget, it...
 
IT has often been the teachers themselves who organise their own...
 
NiE meets the growing emphasis of teaching, collaboration, creativity, and critical...
 
RASMIRA Thiagarajan has won the English Speaking Union (ESU) Public Speaking...
 
SEKOLAH Sultan Alam Shah have been named the champions of Choral...
 
It is the knowledge that they are appreciated for what they...
 
NOOR Azrina Mohamad Anuar who has been teaching for the last...
 
Students learn the basics of journalism, video journalism and photography at...
 
TEACHERS are the drivers of change. Not only in the lives...
 
THANK you teachers for all you have done to mould a...
 
THEATRE veteran Datuk Faridah Merican was brought to tears when she...
 
DIVERSITY is Limkokwing University of Creative Technology’s strength. This was celebrated...
 
Students past and present pay tribute to the teachers who continue...
 
GARDEN International School (GIS) has been awarded certification for Autodesk Authorised...
 
One overslept, one played in cowboy boots and one’s next gig...
 
Stress almost drove me out of the profession. But a change...
 
Authorities confirmed the deaths of 10 people in the mass shooting....
 
In Austin Community College’s ACCelerator, which opened in 2014 in a...
 
In a few months the chair of your department will step...
 
Labor organizers at universities are trying to make the case that...
 
Research into 14-year-olds renews concern over rising rates of teenage mental...
 
Governments can do more; so can social media companies. We parents...
 
Migration Advisory Committee poll circulated by universities open to abuse, say...
 
  David Michael Slater is a veteran middle and high school...
 
This form of harassment disproportionately affects young people. Educating them on...
 
The NUS is calling for stricter policies on the relationships that...
 
  Eric Holder, attorney general under President Barack Obama and the...
 
  A recent report by the nonprofit Learning Policy Institute in...
 
The all-consuming new system is causing stress-induced illnesses and has little...
 
With Congressional talks over next year’s spending package having just begun, higher education groups...
 
The proportion of the U.S. college-going population made up by nontraditional...
 
What did I find when I joined a university? Poor mental...
 
BURLINGAME, Cal. – The conversation concerned hair. More specifically, how a...
 
Marylhurst University, a Roman Catholic institution located on the outskirts of...
 
By David Washburn The two 9th-grade girls heard the laughing the...
 
With revenues on the rise, administrators want to invest in more...
 
One mother said her son came home crying after the incident....
 
Equality and opportunity are now foundational aspects of our democracy. Brown...
 
“I’ve got two words that I want you all to remember...
 
A Chronicle reporter shares lessons for professors from her new report....
 
A Chronicle reporter shares lessons for professors from her new report....
 
From excessive highlighting to cramming, it’s easy to get into bad...
 
The GCSE is 30 – and it’s suddenly much tougher, causing...
 
We dedicate our lives to taking care of other people’s children,...
 
“Are you looking to spend $100,000 you don’t have to get...
 
Michigan State University will pay half a billion dollars to the...
 
The homepage of Trilogy Education Services’ website prominently displays the phrase “Universities...
 
Most scholarships and tuition-free community college programs either focus on covering...
 
EuroSWARM is a European Union-funded research project that has experimented with...
 
The GCSE is 30 – and it’s suddenly much tougher, causing...
 
An exhibit at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. Photo: Terrell Clark...
 
Betsy DeVos went to New York on Tuesday for her first...
 
The university’s Academic Senate, which includes professors and administrators, voted in...
 
The university’s Academic Senate, which includes professors and administrators, voted in...
 
“It’s clearly despicable,” said an attorney for the girl’s family. Powered...
 
About a million public school students were out of the classroom....
 
Michigan State University has agreed to pay $500 to settle the...
 
Tech giants Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg just joined in a...
 
Key stage 2 pupils in England are taking crucial maths exams...
 
For too long, institutions have swept racist incidents under the carpet...
 
Growing criticism about a controversial commencement address at Sweet Briar College...
 
As part of its pitch for expanding apprenticeship opportunities, a White...
 
The accusations against Columbia International University president Mark Smith were shocking...
 
Universities say they are taking steps to promote BAME staff and...
 
Private investigator Tina Blanchette rides around on a surveillance mission. Photo:...
 
SCIENCE, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) permeate every aspect of today’s...
 
PETALING JAYA: “Thank you” are two simple words that never fail...
 
“People still have their own opinions of me attending Spelman, but...
 
From the RSC to the ROH, Britain’s most prestigious arts institutions...
 
Drive to fast-track late joiners at AFC Harrogate led to issues...
 
As more teens come out as trans, experts clash over how...
 
Five years after Enrique Peña Nieto’s ambitions programme to reform education,...
 
Lawyers to call for FoI request to be rejected days after...
 
As more teens come out as trans, experts clash over how...
 
Five years after Enrique Peña Nieto’s ambitions programme to reform education,...
 
Five years after Enrique Peña Nieto’s ambitions programme to reform education,...
 
Sats tests for primary pupils in England are time for teachers’...
 
With schools struggling to help growing numbers of deprived pupils, we...
 
Next year sex education will become compulsory in England – but...
 
Wes McEntee works on a manufacturing machine at Vermont Technical College....
 
Nettie Hunt and her daughter Nickie sit on the steps of...
 
Elycea Almodovar, a junior at Salem State University, was drawn to...
 
Quality graduation invites that won’t cost a fortune. Powered by WPeMatico...
 
Labour calls for increased commitment to early years scheme late MP...
 
Scienceworks museum takes a new approach to getting young people interested...
 
A schools initiative encourages teachers not to single out poorer kids....
 
Noah Williams and James Poirier, both sophomores, already know it will...
 
There likely aren’t many, if any, of the several million working...
 
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down a law that had forbidden gambling on...
 
The animal was “obviously stressed,” a wildlife expert said. Powered by...
 
If you’re disabled, BAME or from low-income background, the barriers to...
 
A series of studies on educational videos found that attention-grabbing gimmicks,...
 
NSPCC says number of schools seeking help from NHS mental health...
 
Rich countries have the chance to show multilateralism is not deal...
 
In the past few weeks, a black student at Yale University...
 
The commencement address at Sweet Briar College Saturday stunned many attendees,...
 
Many students graduated last week, and on Twitter, many thanked the...
 
More than half the current crop of university leavers say they...
 
Ninth-graders at the Science Leadership Academy work on a group project...
 
  When technology is offered to schools free of charge, it...
 
 The supply of students continues to decline, but college and...
 
National Deaf Children’s Society says councils in England cutting educational services...
 
Money could pay for 66,000 qualified registered nurses to fill shortfall,...
 
TECHNICAL and vocational education and training (TVET) is not only meant...
 
Sir David Chipperfield’s £56m project includes a subterranean vault, which offers...
 
An indifferent world cares little about the hard work of impoverished...
 
It would be unwise to assume Trump’s US regime will back...
 
Damian Hinds’s plan to give £50m to expand the selective system...
 
Overwork and lack of support are driving teachers across England out...
 
A nationwide campaign for a vote on the final deal is...
 
Protests ‘will dwarf action over tuition fees’ as May and Corbyn...
 
STUDENTS at Sunway University were treated to a day of all...
 
NiE a way to 21st century learning. …...
 
KDU College Damansara Jaya has formed a partnership with Oxford Brookes...
 
PETROSAINS, The Discovery Centre is on the hunt for the country’s...
 
TWO students from The Royal Military College (RMC) are the winners...
 
FOR many years, Kuen Cheng High School has been a familiar...
 
ALLOW students to develop a liking towards science, says Prof Sir...
 
TEACHERS today are highly qualified, skilled and competent. …...
 
IT was a memorable 88th birthday for former SMK St Thomas...
 
UNIVERSITI Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Perdana University signed a Memorandum of...
 
A musical theatre production creates access to the arts experience for...
 
PLAN B is often taken as a last resort but doing...
 
Students share how the school which started as an all girls’...
 
Trip to New Zealand for schools’ bosses and refurbishments detailed in...
 
An idle tweet elicited tales of scary spacemen and clumsy vicars....
 
The quality of teaching will suffer if we keep losing experienced...
 
Three scholars speak about how sexual harassment and assault have distorted...
 
Parents complained, with one saying she was promoting “the LGBTQ agenda.”...
 
A group of students defended the professor, writing that she was...
 
Experts say grammar schools pose a threat to the prospects of...
 
The UK government’s education policies are damaging and benefiting the few....
 
Your reaction to some of our most discussed stories on Friday,...
 
Experts condemn ‘callous’ timing of second series, which coincides with exam...
 
The Conservatives’ £50m bung for these pointless, divisive, regressive institutions really...
 
As the news became so out-there that the jokes wrote themselves,...
 
There is growing evidence that feeling isolated can affect our health...
 
Education secretary says fund will allow grammar schools to expand, creating...
 
This fall, all first-year students at Ohio State University will be...
 
When is a rich trove of course data too rich? Perhaps...
 
Attacks directed against students, educators and their institutions appear to be...
 
President Trump last year issued an executive order calling for an expansion of apprenticeship opportunities while also...
 
The IFFEd will create 200m school places and help to end...
 
I felt lonely and isolated when I studied on an overcrowded...
 
We must not fail a generation, says chair of group, urging...
 
Money is latest effort by government to resuscitate selective schools in...
 
Steve Lamey was appointed despite concerns raised by civil servants, watchdog...
 
“This is not something we commonly see,” a cop said. Powered...
 
Real, beloved black colleges and universities are in danger and need...
 
Louise Richardson proposals on post-Brexit research funding represent ‘enormous loss’ The...
 
Ben Murray was the third student to die at the university...
 
Another year, another set of rankings from U.S. News & World...
 
“I pay tuition like everybody else,” Lolade Siyonbola, an African studies...
 
Exhibition reveals early translations of Asterix the Gaul and highlights Jewish...