Harvard Accused Of Anti-Asian Bias In Admissions

200px-Harvard_Wreath_Logo_1.svg Many academics have been been following the long-running litigation over Harvard’s admissions criteria. The University has steadfastly resisted efforts to review its admissions statistics and criteria by both litigants and even the Department of Education.  It has had to turn over that information and the results are a bit stunning, particularly with regard to the treatment of Asian students.  A federal case has revealed what challengers claim is a sizable bias against Asian students and in favor of African American students with much lower scores.  This includes a systemic downgrading of Asian students on a “personal” category that many have suggested is an effort to conceal an effective race-based quota or affirmative action system.

At the outset, I will admit to long questioning non-academic based criteria for admissions, particularly in the use of race to achieve pre-ordained distribution rates if it comes at the cost of academic performance. These students work hard to achieve their test and GPA scores in high school. It is wrong, in my view, to admit students with substantially lower scores because students are the wrong race or gender.

The Harvard data would suggest precisely that type of disparity. According to challengers, “An Asian-American applicant with 25% chance of admission . . . would have a 35% chance if he were white, 75% if he were Hispanic, and 95% chance if he were African-American.”  If true, that is a breach of trust for applicants who ask to be viewed on their own merits and not the color of their skin.

Even more disturbing is the suggested use of the “personal” category to hide a systemic bias.  This category covers the highly ambiguous traits of likability and “attractive to be with.” I am not even sure what the latter reference entails.

Some 40,000 applicants apply to Harvard each year and expect to be considered fairly on their accomplishments — not shoved into groups based on the race or nationality. It is hard to look at these shocking statistics and not see a heavy reliance on race in rejecting applicants with substantially higher scores.  If Harvard is going to engage in such racial preferences, it should not only have revealed this information earlier but it should post its heavy race preferential treatment for students to know that they will be judged in significant part on the basis of their race.

100 thoughts on “Harvard Accused Of Anti-Asian Bias In Admissions”

  1. As I said I had links but for whatever reason the post didn’t stay. I’ll try again with a few:
    https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2018/3/29/harvard-regular-admissions-2022/ Shows percentage of acceptance over time
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legacy_preferences Shows 40 % vs 11% admission for legacy vs non legacy in 03
    cnbc.com/2017/09/06/harvards-incoming-class-is-one-third-legacy.html
    Shows 1/3 legacy and a 30% legacy acceptance rate. There were others but perhaps the post auto-nerfed for excessive linking…

    1. ck07

      You might not be aware, but the website only permits one or two links per comment. If you have more than two, you can show the readers these links by using more comments. I corrected this one so that it will be visible.

      1. Thanks Darren for the info and edit. I’ve been posting intermittently here for years but guess it was the first time I’ve tried posting more than 2 links I can think of. Most sites the mods aren’t active so when disqus says awaiting moderation the posts never come. Sorry I didn’t even bother waiting on moderation here since it seems you’re active enough to catch things like this and the leave it to Beaver porn show he just posted…^_^;

    1. David Benson owes me 3 citations after 4 weeks, one from the OED, plus the source of quotation – for someone who thinks the WSU Cougars is an all-white football team, you are in no position to talk about affirmative action.

      1. I pay as little attention to football as it is possible to do. But I didn’t say “all-white”; the obtuse one is Making Stuff Up, just as he repeatedly Makes Up the Stuff in boldface.

        1. David Benson owes me 3 citations after 4 weeks, one from the OED, plus the source of quotation – you said 0% black. Did you look at the team pictures? Geez, the entire black population of WSU is on the team.

          1. Do you understand the difference between “0% African American” and “all-white”.

            I guess too obtuse. Feel sorry for your former students.

  2. “Affirmative Action Privilege” is irrefutably unconstitutional.

    Harvard is private property.

    No law may nullify or otherwise deny the right to posses and dispose of private property.

    James Madison defined “private property” as:

    “that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of

    every other individual.”

    The singular American failure has been and continues to be the Supreme Court as

    Imagine, Roberts allowed an Obamacare tax for “individual welfare” when Congress is limited to taxing only for “general Welfare” and Roberts commingled the definitions of the words “state” and “federal” regarding Obamacare exchanges. Roberts deliberately “decided” that those clearly unconstitutional acts, contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution, were constitutional. He should have been impeached.

    “…courts…must…declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void.”
    ______________________________________________________________________

    Alexander Hamilton –

    “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”
    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    “Affirmative Action Privilege,” “Fair Housing,” “Non-Discrimination,” quotas, etc. are unconstitutional violations of the right to private property.

    The entire welfare state is unconstitutional in that Congress has no power to tax for “individual welfare,” merely “general Welfare” per Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1.

    Impeachment is the tool of control available to the People.

    Violating Justices of the Supreme Court must have been impeached long ago for crimes of high office as dereliction, usurpation, subversion and nullification.

    When do Americans get their Constitution back, Professor Turley?

      1. So you CAN grasp that private property IS the fundamental law of the land established by the American Founders.

        The free baker does business with whomever he chooses.

        The free, homosexual perversions of nature do business with whichever businesses they choose.

        The two parties are free to hold opinions.

        The nature of the contract is consent and agreement of both parties.

        If one of the two free parties does not agree, the deal is off.

        See, freedom without dictatorship is simple.

        People must adapt to the outcomes of freedom.

        Freedom does not adapt to people…dictatorship does.

    1. You have to wonder about their decision making process. Is their GC continually out of the loop, or do they ignore their GC, or does their GC give them advice which ends up costing them? Or is it that they figure, ‘scroom, they’ll never put the funds and the efforts into a lawsuit’?

      1. Geez Louise. They tried to squelch an event or screw $17,000 out of the organizsers and then end up coughing up $122,500 in legal fees to the organizers’ counsel in addition to their own legal costs. Do any heads roll when this happens?

      2. In the anecdotal evidence I’ve seen over the years relating to suits against government agencies, aside from personal injury or damage to property, bureaucrats and politicians here are less deterred by the possibility of litigation than they formerly were. I’ve seen a trend emerging where egos and ideologies lead to stonewalling and in the end an even greater expense to the state / county / city arises because they cannot just let it go. They believe they are right and damn everybody else. Then the courts become their battlegrounds against their perceived enemies, and all paid for by the citizenry.

  3. Harvard is racist against white gentiles and asians too. That’s the simplest and most obvious conclusion. plug into it the fact that Jewish people are over represented there? draw your own conclusions

    recall of course that they believe God Himself ordains their discrimination

    Amos (3:2) ‘You alone have I singled out of all the families of the earth”

    1. plug into it the fact that Jewish people are over represented there? draw your own conclusions

      Again, the market segment of private research universities would be patricians and professional-managerial types These social strata are disproportionately Jewish – commonly 6-7% are Jewish. Harvard is located in the northeast, which is where the highest concentration of Jews is to be found.

    2. Mr. Kurtz:

      The research I’ve seen sets Jewish and Asian IQs above the norm of whites, Latinos and A-A generally. Not to say that there aren’t deviations from the mean in each group but why should it surprise anyone that a sub-group like Asians and Jews, who test better, are overly represented. IQ testing is the singular best measure of future academic performance and future success and have been since the turn of the 20th Century when the US Army went at it hog-wild. Since the IQ of preschoolers can be measures, you can’t argue bad schools are the issue. Simply put, you either want a merit based admissions policy or you want an identity-based policy or some lame hybrid of the two that seems to be all the rage with a strong emphasis on the latter factor. Personally, I find a strong positive correlation between disappointed applicants and those who want an identity based admission policy. Imagine that!

    3. The rest of the story…those who were singled out were the forerunners of the Christian church. You may recall that Jesus was a Jew.

  4. Social Justice theory is inevitably imploding.
    Affirmative action, a dubious activity that barely passed constitutional muster, has been emotionally justified by the stated desire to make up for past discrimination of minorities by boosting current minority admissions.
    Underlying the theory of affirmative action, is that there are no racial differences in academic achievement, and that a student population racial distribution without discrimination will approximate the general population’s distribution.
    If and when such distributions do not match, then the administrators will elevate the theory over any factual outcome, and presume that the disparity is caused by social injustice, and then will institute rules the ensure that their theory of outcome is validated.
    And in the process, they commit the very discrimination they purport to abhor, by formalizing racial discrimination in their admissions standards, on the flawed premise that theory trumps facts, and they will force fit the facts, i.e., fudge those facts, so that the theory is substantiated.

    1. you misunderstand social justice theory. it is a false contrivance that seeks to hammer the white western world into submission. i leave it to you to find out where it comes from, its foremost proponents, etc.

      the why is very simple. Loot.

      the same why that goes all the way back to the marching around jerhico and slaughtering Amalekites. They want to take the stuff. the same why that motivated every other group of victors in history too. just to be fair. LOL

      1. They were instructed to dedicate all the “stuff” to God. One guy didn’t, and things did not go well for him:

        But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them.

        Joshua 7. Read the whole thing. Especially before posting a sad lack of biblical scholarship for all the world to see.

    2. Gary:

      By it’s very terms it has to collapse, Gary. Rewarding people or punishing them for immutable factors like race and gender is a fool’s game with only one faction left standing and the rest hell-bent to eradicate it. If you treat people like diamonds who are judged one at a time, you get a fair result that cuts across factional lines. That’s the American way.

    3. “Affirmative Action Privilege” is not in the Constitution and was never contemplated by the Founders.

      The right to private property was;

      James Madison defined “private property” as

      “that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of

      every other individual.”

      Affirmative action, fair housing, non-discrimination, rent control, affordable housing, etc., etc., etc. are all

      irrefutably unconstitutional violations of the right to private property.

      Government exists to facilitate the freedom of individuals, not to dictate.

      America is not a theocracy, covetocracy, mobocracy, charitocracy, etc.

      America was established as a restricted-vote republic in which representatives are elected by those citizens entitled to vote having met criteria. Never were “the poor” intended to vote as it was knowable that they would “sell” their votes. They did.

      Mr. Trump, tear down this wall!

  5. So what is the percentage of Jewish students at Harvard?

    A cursory google search led me to the answer of 25% – from a group that makes up 1.8% of the U.S. population.

    Perhaps the two issues are related?

    1. That was a figure ginned up by Ron Unz. Three individuals – one a private citizen living in Chicago, one a sociologist, and one a statistician checked his work in particular criticizing his data sources. They’re conclusion was that the correct figure is around 9%. Unz has been very butt-hurt about it and flies into a flurry of aggressive and defensive argy-bargy when the matter is brought up.

        1. Nate, the source of that is Unz, who was cribbing off of Hillel at Harvard. Andrew Gelman, Janet Mertz, and Nurit Baytch pretty much pwnd him. He’ll not forgive them that.

      1. Still, 1.8% vs 9%, over 4X what is expected.
        Not to mention this ratio with the anti-jew admissions discrimination criteria baked in as well.

        1. No, what’s expected would be the proportion of Jews in Harvard’s natural clientele, modified by regional recruitment patterns. The natural clientele of private research universities would be the patriciate and the professional-managerial element, which may very well be 9% Jewish. The twin capitals of American Jewry would be New York and Miami. Over 40% of American Jews live in and around these two places. There aren’t any private universities with cachet within ready commuting distance of Miami. The nearest is Emory, which is over 600 miles away. However, if you live around New York (as do 1/3 of American Jews), you have Columbia and NYU right at home and Harvard, MIT, Boston College, Tufts, Brandeis, Brown, Yale, Princeton, Penn, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, and GW within a few hours by train. By bus or driving your own vehicle, Carnegie-Mellon, Cornell, RPI, and the University of Rochester are less than a workday’s commute.

          1. So, by that logic, the proportion of jews in colleges not near large jewish populations, should approximate those local populations as well.
            My educated intuition is that you will still see a major disparity.

            ref: World Jewish Population = 0.19%
            Jewish Nobel Prize Winners = 22%

            1. No, by that logic the proportion of Jews at private research universities is influenced by the relative size of the population of Jews living within a certain radius. It’s also influenced by the proportion of Jews in the professional-managerial class generally. Private research universities and private colleges with a certain amount of cachet account for about 11% of the student population at baccalaureate granting institutions. They’re not for everyone and those attending them tend to be disproportionately affluent. Jews are also disproportionately affluent and come from education intensive occupations. That you see Jewish populations at such institutions of 8% rather than 2% is unremarkable. What do you fancy their applicant pool looks like?

        1. Actually he’s an oddball who runs a website for all manner of cranks and eccentrics. The comment boxes are a great collecting pool of people obsessed with psychometrics (who, however, have no technical knowledge of the subject), people who resent and loathe Jews, and people who resent and loathe blacks.

  6. The world is ass backwards. I just went to a high school graduation and the student speakers were not the valedictorian or salutatorian. Instead we got to hear from two dimwits one making fun on mono and the other pointing out her buddies and telling us that she had no advice for her class. It was precious. In fact, the valedictorian or salutatorian were not even listed in the program. I guess you can’t hurt the feelings of snowflakes. So much for working hard.
    Still waiting for the NBA to be 50% white short guys,

    1. I went to a graduation were they did not choose a valedictorian to recognize at all. Instead, the top 25 academics each recorded a 30 second video clip of anything from what was their favorite memory to where they planned to go to college. They had several other students give speeches, but no valedictorian.

  7. “An Asian-American applicant with 25% chance of admission . . . would have a 35% chance if he were white, 75% if he were Hispanic, and 95% chance if he were African-American.” If true, that is a breach of trust for applicants who ask to be viewed on their own merits and not the color of their skin.”
    *****************
    Well it’s a lot more than a breach of trust. It’s an educational institution engaged in invidious racism in admission policies. Take it out of Cambridge, Mass and drop it in Oxford, Miss, while reversing the percentages and you have a media storm with riots, Harvard and a lot of formerly “elite” (merit based) colleges no longer educate, they are social engineers favoring one race over another. As such, they are deserving of no federal money. They also forfeited any claim to elite status. Who knows, maybe we’ll even need the National Guard to escort Asian and White students into hoary old Harvard Yatd.

    1. Federal money sluiced to higher education should consist Medicaid and Medicare re-imbursements to university hospitals, of scholarships for federal employees assigned to education and training, of veteran’s scholarships, of scholarships for the dependents of federal employees who move around a great deal (e.g. the military and the foreign service), and of scholarships for those resident in the small insular dependencies or on Indian reservations. (Residents of DC could be granted in-state status at Maryland institutions in return for a tribute payment). You might also award faculty temporary fellowships to work for federal agencies, awarding their home institution a generous indemnity for the loss of their time. In regard to scholarships, those applying would be handed a list of institutions to choose from which would not include fancy private universities.

    2. They should be sued in civil court. In addition, they have violated Title VI, I think it is, of the Civil Rights Act. Asians and, to a lesser degree, Caucasians, should file discrimination complaints with the OCR.

      I would very much like to see what happens.

      There is this idea that only discrimination against blacks is abhorrent. Discrimination against whites, Asians, Christians, and even against Jews is considered acceptable, even brave, especially if the latter involves any issue about Palestine.

      We have laws against discrimination. Use them.

    3. the good news is that they are training generations of white men to feel screwed over. that will help white men stick together, which is a lesson they desperately need to be taught. keep up the good work, harvard!

  8. Not to give Harvard a pass but if historic discrimination is allowed as a factor I would assume they can craft an argument that African Americans and Native Americans face a higher burden to begin with. In the previous generation this country was still going through segregation, and the effects of poverty, violence and job opportunities weigh heavily on those communities to this day. Of course now combatting past discrimination cannot be the goal of affirmative action policies but instead diversity on campus. However if all campuses become merit based the fear is that many STEM programs especially would become overwhelmingly Asian, which have higher populations to begin with 2.5 billion in China and India combined, and about 2/3rds of the global population in Asia.

    I’m not sure what the percentage of actual applicants is from what demographic but in terms of country of origin this is the breakdown: http://www.hio.harvard.edu/statistics
    I assume students of African origin are statistically counted as African Americans and Asians as Asian Americans though I could be wrong. 30% of all admitted students last year were legacy. If you take that away, and affirmative action the nations top schools would look very different. Perhaps that’s ok but on a national policy level when we aren’t educating the communities this country helped destroy to begin with, which are still over policed and face discrimination in hiring and promotions maybe it’s not the best policy in the longterm

    1. If you’re interested in ‘the effects of past discrimination’, you’d address the condition of primary and secondary schooling in core cities. Measures applied by private tertiary institutions are bass-ackward. Of course, inner city schools are the way they are to please various bourgeois constituencies who vote Democratic, so they won’t change.

      1. Inner city schools suck yes, but in cities like dc they are addressing them with renovations to previously piss poor schools like Ballou, Dunbar and Roosevelt. Of course for the effects of these changes to be felt and attract more good teachers to previously dangerous areas takes time. For an extreme example let’s pretend we were just out of segregation and it was the 70s when many universities first enacted Affirmative Action policies. You can’t expect the students who came out of underfunded and segregated schools to perform on the level of those with resources, so do you punish those first grads for the system you put in place or try to effect change at the only level where a quick remedy can be applied.

        That’s how we got stuck with this system. Harvard and other Universities tried to do the right thing while politicians got lazy as poverty and the war on drugs gripped the inner cities. What you’re talking about is the long game that should have been addressed with their parents generation but is just starting to really be looked at now. Society is way behind but in time policies like this can hopefully be done away with once primaries and secondaries catch up. This is a bit blatant but so is 30% legacy. Asians get screwed both ways but I don’t think I have much shot at getting into Toudai despite a perfect SAT score. Of course if I were raised in Japan and this were some fictional world where Japenese of American descent made up an overwhelming percentage of top applicants I’d be peeved…

        1. ‘Renovations’ aren’t going to do a blessed bit of good. If you want to repair inner-city schools, you have to clear out the incorrigibles, clear out the doofuses on the faculty and administration, undertake vigorous instructional tracking, and invest in vocational instruction. Getting from here to there requires taking a flame-thrower to one vested interest after another: the teachers’ colleges, the incumbent school administrators, dimwitted school psychologists, the worst element on the faculty, the obstreperous parents of obstreperous youth, dimwitted black politicians, socially resentful people who despise private schooling, teacher’s union meatheads, PTA blatherskites &c. Replacing public agency with voucher-funded philanthropies as a delivery vehicle and vigorous state regents examinations will be part of the package. So would be closing extant teacher’s colleges. So will day detention centers run by the sheriff’s department.

          What you’re talking about is the long game

          That’s the only game. Students who aren’t prepared for fancy-shmancy private universities aren’t prepared. Stuffing them in there anyway in some sort of social work project just wastes their time and the institutions time. The point of schooling is schooling.

          1. Have you looked at the lead ppb rates at some of these schools fountains? They’re at like 10-100 times the acceptable limit. The schools are physically in disrepair. If you had a choice of working at a building that was poorly maintained and had no funding vs one that was state of the art and looked like a college campus which would you choose? You have to bring in good teachers. Just firing the bad ones doesn’t rectify the problem if you replace them with more bad ones or don’t replace them and jam more students in crowded classrooms with good ones.
            Progress is being made slowly but surely. Look at Ballou for instance, in 2010 they had about a 10% proficiency rate, now it’s like 20%: https://www.schooldigger.com/go/DC/schools/0003000084/school.aspx
            Of course there’s other issues (smh):
            https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/11/28/564054556/what-really-happened-at-the-school-where-every-senior-got-into-college

            1. ck07 – my research into the Flint catastrophe revealed that we still have a lot of lead pipes around the US. We cannot shake our heads at the mad Romans who poisoned themselves with lead when we still use lead pipes, and think it’s safe as long as nothing too caustic goes through the line…like toxic Flint River water. Not good enough.

              I completely agree that we need high quality teachers, who are there to teach academics, not their personal politics.

              Any improvement in academics is something for the nation to celebrate. We are all connected, so improving the education and prowess of our youth helps us all.

            2. Have you looked at the lead ppb rates at some of these schools fountains?

              About 5.6% of black youth have blood levels of lead that are of some concern, v. 2.4% of white children and 1.9% of hispanic children. The frequency of elevated blood levels for all three categories have declined by about 70% in the last 20 years. This is a small and declining problem.

          2. NIS, when I was at university, a professor I knew complained that he had to teach his classes to two tiers at the same time – those who got there on merit alone, regardless of skin color, and those who were there to fulfill a quota system. The latter were completely lost, and slowed down the entire class for everyone. They eventually either flunked out, or chose undemanding majors like interpretive dance or what we now call Social Justice majors. Anything traditionally academic and they were at sea.

            Nationwide, the students at the greatest disadvantage are those born to single mothers with an absent father. That is true regardless of skin color, but it has hardest hit the black community. White or black, if you are raised in similar circumstances, you will turn out the same. It is those innocent children who are most at risk of doing poorly at school, dropping out, joining a gang, committing crimes, going to jail, and/or getting murdered. Heartbreaking and unfair. In addition, the children of people who are less educated have a harder time, because there is no one at home to help them with homework. I learned Common Core (damn it to Hades) from Kindergarten on up so that I could help my son with his homework. Help doesn’t mean doing it for him. It means reviewing what he’s done in school to make sure he’s got it, and answering any questions he has. The reality is that teachers have around 25 students in a class, and they cannot spend all the time in the world with all of them. Students need access to academic help as needed, whether it’s a parent or tutor or teacher after school. Those students without help at home need to be identified so that we ensure help is available to them. In addition, homes that do not emphasize the importance and pride in a good education tend to produce children with a poor attitude towards schooling. There needs to be some sort of mentorship to help with that handicap, as well.

            These are issues to attack from the ground up. The end result requires a different approach, such as remedial schooling, and even teaching a student HOW to learn. You don’t lower the bar and throw them, ill prepared, into the university system. You prepare them.

            1. The vast majority of blacks in college have no interest in garbage majors. Those majors are political patronage for faculty, not a service to students. In 2015, 192,000 baccalaureate degrees were awarded to blacks. The breakdown by coarse category was as follows:

              20.3%: Business (i.e. business administration, accounting, finance, marketing &c)
              12.9%: “Health Professions” (usually nursing)
              7.6%: “Social sciences” (political science, sociology, economics, not history)
              7.6%: Psychology
              6.5%: “Homeland Security &c” (i.e. criminal justice &c)
              5.3%: Communications (modally journalism)
              4.3% Biological sciences
              4.0%: Public administration &c. (modally social work)
              3.8%: ‘Education’ (i.e. teaching credentials)
              3.5%: Visual and performing arts
              3.4%: ‘Liberal arts’ (i.e. a jumble degree)
              3.2%: Computer and information science
              2.9%: Multidisciplinary studies (e.g. ‘behavioral sciences”, “global studies”).

              That covers 85% of the waterfront

              The victimology programs are under the heading of “Area / cultural studies”. About 1,300 people of all descriptions earned a degree in ‘women’s studies’ in 2015 while 600-odd earned a degree in black studies. That’s out of 1.8 million baccalaureate degrees awarded of which north of 600,000 were in academic or artistic subjects. You could have a mass shut down of black and women’s studies programs and the people you’d truly inconvenience would be those employed to teach in them.

    2. ck07 – if the majority of highly skilled mathematical geniuses are Asian, including Indian, then that is how the chips fall. The planet Earth is blessed to have each and every talented individual created, and such a gift should not be discouraged.

      If Srinivasa Ramanujan were alive today, he still would be at risk of receiving no formal training, because he was the wrong ethnicity. He is considered a mathematical treasure whose prolific work was cut short at 32.

      It is my personal belief that it is a sin to overlook someone’s academic potential because they are not the “right” race or gender. Such descriptors are meaningless for intellect or artistic talent. It is the talent itself that should be nurtured, not the wrapping.

      The right path is to nurture talent starting in grade school, emphasize good character and decision making, how to withstand peer pressure, and protect children from dangerous influences like drugs, gangs, and crime. You don’t throw away the immense gift of accomplishment, such as a highly skilled mathematics student, just because she is Asian and they have plenty of students who look like her. That’s profligate madness.

      1. Karen, you’re right he would have a hard time getting into Harvard but we can’t ignore the fact that 30% of Harvard’s spots are reserved for legacy applicants, besides the fact that it’s a liberal arts school and not a school known for its stem program like MiT or another Ivy League- Cornell, and Srinivasa Ramanujan was formally educated at Cambridge after almost being overlooked at a time when India was a British colony. He failed his arts and science classes because this was a british system similar to our own, that demands students be well rounded, unlike the current system in which students have focus areas in 11th and 12th grade: https://smartexpat.com/india/how-to-guides/family/schools/school-system

        That gets to part of Harvard’s potential argument. While criteria like “attractive to be with” seem completely ridiculous and inand, an argument could be made that well rounded populations have a higher personality and like-ability factor than those educated outside the American system whether in programs that do not encourage creative thinking or social skills (a problem I often find with home schooled individuals).

        That being said your argument has merit. I think there should be more of a focus on specialized learning earlier in the US. We’re falling behind in STEM subjects as a nation. Srinivasa Ramanujan Died young from dysentery, probably due to poor sanitary conditions in India. How many more great minds are lost due to similar factors of poverty and violence or can’t focus on school to begin with? While Ballou’s graduation numbers were forced a number of students were found to be absent from class so they could get money for their parents to pay rent. We often get the cream of the crop from other nations and use that to form opinions on disadvantaged communities in the US, viewing them as genetically inferior. There are great minds within all communities if properly disciplined and stimulated. You gave examples of an ethiopian professor formally educated in a cave earlier which is evidence of this, and there are a number of high performing students from Africa. Race largely is a social construct. Societal factors, telemeres, culture etc play a role. Just because a South Koreans outperform North Koreans in subjects we shouldn’t view the North Koreans as genetically inferior. Foreign born Africans also dramatically outperform their American counterparts in the US with some of the highest levels of collegiate achievement. The same with foreign born whites and Asians. I think it’s safe to say US primary and secondary schools are falling behind (though it could be more of the cream of the crop): https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Educational_attainment_in_the_United_States

        1. Karen, you’re right he would have a hard time getting into Harvard but we can’t ignore the fact that 30% of Harvard’s spots are reserved for legacy applicants,

          Yes we can. Has Harvard admitted this was the case? Were those spots ‘reserved’ or is it just that that’s the composition of the student body? What % of legacies have the grades and test scores to meet ordinary admissions standards.

          C’mon. Fewer than 2,000 youths matriculate at Harvard College each year, out of 1.4 million freshman matriculations at baccalaureate granting institutions generally. Harvard’s mendacious and gross, but in and of itself does not matter that much in the tapestry of higher education. What does matter would be dysfunctional policies which are pervasive among selective institutions.

          1. Not sure what happened to my reply. Guess I’m not allowed to link so many articles do I’ll just restate it with no links. Basically the facts are there showing legacy admissions at as high as 40% some years in comparison to overall admissions of 11%, and this year it’s 29% vs 5%.
            For the past few decades it’s hovered around 30% or 3 times the general acceptance rate. You claim we can ignore what appears to be on its face blatant favoritism simply because the University hasn’t admitted to it? Res ipsa loquitor. Are we requiring they admit to a policy of purposely rating Asians lower on personality and attractiveness scales or just going by the numbers?

            This is a school that discriminated on the basis of race partially to reduce the number of Jews up until the 60s. Obviously the majority of their legacy applicants will be rich and white, and if they had type of scores that give Asians a 25% admissions, you don’t see an issue with giving legacy what sounds like it’s teetering on 100% admissions with those same potentially roll of the die admissible scores simply because daddy warbucks would throw a fit, though you do see a problem with giving AAs, Native Americans and Latinos preferential treatment when they were historically discriminated against so they are far less likely to be legacy and almost certainly come from tougher circumstances than legacy applicants? That seems hypocritical. If you abandon one form of preferential treatment you need to abandon them all.

            Of course the plaintiffs may be wise to leave legacy out of the equation since if they want policy change congress is unlikely to approve something that could negatively impact their children just as they are with re-enacting the draft etc.

            1. Not sure what happened to my reply. Guess I’m not allowed to link so many articles do I’ll just restate it with no links. Basically the facts are there showing legacy admissions at as high as 40% some years in comparison to overall admissions of 11%, and this year it’s 29% vs 5%

              Again, who came up with this datum?

              1. I would love to tell you and link the articles but anytime I post multiple links my comment awaits moderation:
                The crimson has an article from March 29th showing the percentage of admissions acceptance this year and last year around 5% and on the decline

                Wikipedia “legacy preferences” Shows 40 % vs 11% admission for harverd’s legacy vs non legacy in 03
                And CNBC has an article from 2017 stating “-incoming-class-is-one-third-legacy”
                Showing 1/3 legacy and a 30% legacy acceptance rate. There were others but without the ability to link it’d be a pain to direct you when I’m not sure your up for googling.

  9. Subjective tests are often a tool of those seeking to elevate individuals to positions.

    On the other side, Washington’s current face of institutional racism, The Evergreen State College, is projecting an 18.5% drop in enrollments for this year. They’ve made plans to recruit adults outside the traditional enrollment demographics in the surrounding counties to find enough warm bodies to keep the numbers and the funding coming in. There were layoffs last year after a five percent drop.

    https://www.thecollegefix.com/post/42073/

    I just read that the former Chief of Police for Evergreen filed a damage claim against the state alleging racial and gender discrimination by members of the administration. Under state law, the damage claim is the first step and the state has sixty days to answer or offer a settlement. If this does not occur, then a lawsuit is probable in my view.

    1. “You can’t expect the students who came out of underfunded and segregated schools to perform on the level of those with resources, so do you punish those first grads for the system you put in place or try to effect change at the only level where a quick remedy can be applied.”

      *************************

      You mean like kids from Catholic schools did for decades? Ah, the bigotry of low expectations!

      1. My Dad told me that when he was young, the guys who kept getting into trouble got sent to the military to get straightened out. And many of them did. In addition, the Catholics ran all sorts of education institutions that overcame extreme poverty. Jesuits educated the Ethiopian philosopher Zera Yacob. I do not think it is possible to be at a more extreme disadvantage than growing up in Ethiopia hundreds of years ago. I believe he labored for many hours before he was paid with clothing, and then later I think a cow. If I remember correctly, he did a lot of his meditation in a cave. In Ethiopia.

        There are conditions in which those who begin in adversity can overcome. But it’s hard. We should help children at a young age with academics rather than lower the bar later. The latter will attitude the belief that they are underperforming, and not as skilled as those who earned their achievements.

        If you needed a brain surgeon, would you want someone who got by with poorer grades because he filled some quota, or would you want the best in class, and bloody not care what race or gender they were? It’s not like you can really see them with their surgical mask on, while you’re asleep, anyway. What the bloody hell would you care what they looked like?

        1. Karen S – actually you really do not want the best in the class because they are great with the books but not on technique. You want the guy or gal down about 3 or 4 steps who is magic with the scalpel.

  10. This is grossly amusing. You have elite fashion and status games (some of it a consequence of prophylaxis contra the depredations of federal judges, federal agencies, and the har-de-har public interest bar) driving this diversity shtick. You know it’s that, because for over 40 years you’ve had scads of PhDs talking up ‘diversity’ without ever offering a serious defense of the practice. They don’t have to. The post-Reagan GOP betrayed its constituency on this matter (they usually do) and puts no legal pressure on institutions, any court decisions which go against the diversity-pushers are met with try-every-door non-compliance, and the sort of people who object to these practices are ‘deplorables’ of the sort that faculties and administrations ignore and denigrate (as does the elite bar).

    Institutions of higher education do not have architectonic purposes to which they would care to admit. The ones to which they do not care to admit would be employing professors, providing a labor-market signal to their paying clientele, and providing parents of said clientele the promise that their social status and income stream will be replicated in the next generation. For the faculty, garnering the agreeable employment they want comes at the price of performing a social and economic task they deplore, so manufacturing patron-client relationships with blacks and hispanics is a way for faculty to feel better about their jobs. It doesn’t do the blacks and hispanic kids much good to stuff them into institutions where their academic preparation is such that they’re at the bottom of the pile in terms of skills. Doesn’t do the institution much good to have a core of visible students who are dissatisfied with their situation or availing themselves of dysfunctional ways of addressing that dissatisfaction, and it doesn’t do much good for the rest of the students to have a visible corps of troubled students in their midst. All of that takes a back seat to what the faculty want. The trustees, of course, are useless. (And not immune to the status competition among the social elite).

    Systemic discrimination against an institution’s natural clientele is helped along by faculty contempt for that clientele. The students faculty might actually like are younger versions of themselves.

    Here’s a suggestion: comprehensive repeal of anti-discrimination law applicable to the private sector, a modest array of utilities and monopolistic common carriers excepted. Simply require corporations employing people in multiple states or recruiting employees across state lines to publish an annual report of the stock and flow of their workforce, broken down by stratum and coarse demographic categories. In regard to higher education, you could also require them to do so in re their clientele (reporting the median SAT scores of each population subset, among other things). Such a report would be akin to a financial statement. It would, by law, have to be audited and lying would subject the corporation and its employees to criminal liability.

    Here’s a second suggestion: distribute berths at public institutions according to the results of a set of baccalaureate examinations.

    Here’s a third suggestion: recharter extant public and private institutions, providing in nearly all cases that their trustees be elected in a postal ballot of alumni registered to vote in the state in which the institution is located. The size of any board would be a function of the number of alumni on the voter rolls and would generally be around nine with a minimum of five required by law. They’d be elected quadrennially all at the same time. They’d be subject to a rotation-in-office requirement – debarred from standing for election if they’d sat on the board for 10 of the last 12 years or would hit that limit during their term were they to win election).

    Aspirants to the office of trustee would register their candidacy at the state board of elections by placing a deposit and leaving a 600 word statement of candidacy. The board staff would assemble these statements into a prospectus to be mailed out to alumni on the rolls along with a ballot. The trustees would be elected by an ordinal ballot wherein the voter rank-orders his preferences among the candidates and the ballots are tabulated according to a ‘Condorcet’ method. In order to avoid candidates being elected due to their position on the ballot (a problem in low-information elections), the ballot order should vary. There should be as many stereotypes as candidates who qualify for the ballot, and equal numbers of each stereotype should be mailed out. How that would work is that you have a drawing at the state board and you place a card marked with the name of each candidate on a daisy-wheel. You start at a particular point on the wheel. That candidate will occupy the first position on that particular stereotype. Moving around the wheel counter-clockwise, you identify the candidate who will occupy the 2d, 3d, 4th, &c. Rinse, repeat until you have manufactured all the stereotypes. Each candidate will have an equal shot to occupy the top spot on the body of ballots mailed out.

    You can also alter the labor law regime applicable to faculty. One measure would be a federal law debarring offers of tenure to faculty recruited across state lines. Such legislation could be supplemented ty state law debarring offers of tenure with state. Ideally, the main body of the faculty would have three ranks (instructor, lecturer, and professor) differentiated according the length of their contract: instructors up to 3 years, lecturers up to 7 years, and professors until retirement. Faculty would be compelled to retire when they’d paid into TIAA-CREF for 35 years (pro-rated for periods of part-time employment) or when they were eligible for full Social Security, whichever date was later. The number of professor’s contracts would be rationed (no more than, say, 35% of the faculty workforce) and could not be awarded to any faculty member under the age of 45 or possessed of less than 12 years f/t service at an institution. Advisory committees within the institution would be drawn from every stakeholder segment and faculty would occupy only one seat on such committees. The only extradepartmental committees composed of faculty would be concerned with faculty hiring and promotion and perhaps with graduation and general degree requirements (and, in these latter cases, merely advisory for the trustees).

    Another thing you can do is enact state law which require degree and concentration programs instituions undertake respect the contents of a state glossary. The glossary would name permissible degrees and concentrations and provide a capsule description of each. With regard to state institutions, the degree programs of each could be subject to periodic audit, programs in place for fewer than 12 years exempted. The audit would review the records of each student granted such a degree over the previous 35 years (or since the time the program was founded), deduct from the pool those students whose entering board scores were below the 32d percentile of their entering class, and determine the mean number of degrees which have been awarded each year to this residual pool over the time period in question. If the number falls below, say, 10 for an undergraduate degree and 25 for a vocational post-baccalaureate degree, the program would be closed by the order of the state comptroller unless it was the last of its kind in the state system.

  11. Washington State University has a diversity goal to include students of ethnicities which are underrepresented in higher education. So there are a few Pacific Islanders, American Indians, and Hispanics. But as there are few African Americans in Washington state, one doesn’t see many around campus. I notice more immigrants from the Middle East and from India.

    But Asian Americans are well represented; more interesting are the students from East Asian countries but they fit right in the academic setting without the additional counseling the so-called underrepresented group members require.

    Lately I notice that the African Americans seem to be fitting in and doing fine, but there aren’t many.

    But WSU isn’t Harvard, thank goodness.

    1. David Benson still owes me three citations after four weeks, one from the OED, and a quotation – have you correlated WSU’s black students with its football and basketball teams?

      1. Can’t help but notice football around here. I’d say about 0% African American.

        Basketball I am successfully able to ignore.

  12. Glad I am not on that admissions committee. Only one in twenty applicants can be admitted; all have perfect SAT scores I suppose; all write an excellent admissions essay; …

    So how to choose? How about in proportion to intended major compared to the sizes of the various faculties. If so, Asian Americans will be at a disadvantage as so many select STEM fields to major in.

    But I don’t know that is what Harvard University is doing. Whatever, it would be best to ignore the silly ethnicity form entirely. If necessary, throw a twenty sided die…

  13. Berkeley has long been noted for taking one race over another in preference even though the ‘chosen race’ failed 50% of their group while the denied race mostly 4.0 students excelled, had excelled but were denied denied denied. Neither of the two races is caucasian in origin nor hispanic. Some of the chosen race were openly given A or 4.0 ratings regardless of accomplishment or attendance

    Thus Berkelhy students are now always suspect and other schools gained the the rejects.

    I’m wondering if the State Department long known for disregarding applicants based on the reputation of the school and the Justice Department weren’t tainted as a result.- the result seem indicative. One can’t trust students from places like Berkeley and the Ivy league. At least without giving admissions testing

    1. In the case of Berekley it was Chinese descendents denied admission with superior GPA’s etc. while another race was given preference based on skin color. The Chinese were thought to have a home life that gave them an unfair advantage.

          1. I knew many faculty and graduates of UCB.

            For one from before my time, the famous mathematician Chern taught there for many years before returning to China to start Tsinghua University.

  14. It is heartbreaking for anyone to be denied on their college application because of race.

    Race should be neither a qualifying, nor a disqualifying characteristic.

    Only a meritocracy is fair. Education intervention and after school programs can help make poor kids more academically competitive. Treating people differently based on race is emphatically wrong.

  15. If this is true, Harvard needs to be brought to its knees financially, put under a federal monitor for 50 years and dropped from the Ivy League.

    1. What a wish list. Harvard has the largest endowment of any university in the USA; maybe only Oxford University or Cambridge University have larger ones, worldwide. Federal monitor for violating just what law? Freedom of association means that nobody can kick Harvard out of the Ivy League, which is after all just a football association.

      Just being obtuse again…

      1. The standards used by DOE may be changing but up until 2016 were written by Sociologists and not by Academics.

        1. First, I doubt that the Department of Energy, which is what DoE stands for, has any role whatsoever in college admissions. Second, most sociologists are academics.

          So what having you been ingesting?

          1. David Benson still owes me two citations after four weeks, one from the OED, and a quotation – a couple of things here. 1) you are a month behind in getting me my citations and slightly less in figuring out who was responsible for that quotation. 2) DoE is also the Dept of Education. 3) There has NEVER been any proof that sociologists are academics.

              1. David Benson still owes me three citations after four weeks, one from the OED, and a quotation – as usual, you are incapable of backing up what you say.

            1. 3) There has NEVER been any proof that sociologists are academics.

              Christopher Chase-Dunn is an academic.

              The problem with the different components of sociology, with cultural anthropology, and with social psychology is not that they are inherently defective or unserious but that the evolution of the society of those employed in them has turned them into apologetical enterprises suffused with sectaries and low academic standards. Trustees could at least partially repair the problem by firing sociologists who do not make use of quantitative methods and firing cultural anthropologists who haven’t does fieldwork abroad.or among aboriginal populations. (American history now has some of the same problems, btw).

      2. David Benson still owes me two citations after four weeks, one from the OED, and a quotation – The rest of the Ivy League can kick them out. And the feds can fine them into bankruptcy.

          1. David Benson still owes me two citations after four weeks, one from the OED, and a quotation – Prove it!!!!

    2. Paul, they have been under a federal monitor as have all but two colleges in the USA for that length of time. Hillsdale in Michigan and Grove in Pennsylvania who refuse to take even GI Bill funding and thus evade the ‘oversight’ of the DOE.

      1. The smart money says the Vichy evangelicals at Grove City will wreck the place within a generation.

    3. What would be pleasing would be if the endowment of Harvard and Yale were seized and apportioned among the other institutions of higher learning in the country according to the number of students each enrolls. Then auction off the real estate and the chattels of each.

    4. The arts and sciences divisions of Duke and Columbia are another pair of rabid kitties that ought to be drowned.

      1. Huh? Both do well in the physical sciences and mathematics. Columbia University is world famous for its geology department.

        1. Then they’ll find ready employment elsewhere, in the case of the geologists, some place where you can actually do fieldwork.

          Concise description of the Middle East Languages and Cultures department at Columbia courtesy Martin Kramer: “A train-wreck of friend hires friend”.

          1. The geologists do fieldwork worldwide.

            Boy are you behind the times. How is your pack mule?

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