Harvard, Asian-Americans group spar over data in bias case

16 June, 2018, 19:37 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Harvard gives Asian Americans lower personality ratings than other races lawsuit claims

The group accuses Harvard of increasing admissions of white, black, and Hispanic applicants at the expense of Asian-American students, reports CNN.

The Johnston Gate at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Harvard consistently rated Asian-American applicants lower than any other race on personal traits like "positive personality", likability, courage and kindness, according to an analysis of more than 160,000 student records filed as part of a lawsuit against the university.

Harvard says the OIR analysis was preliminary, and that it will defend its approach to achieving a diverse school body and campus community.

Lieu, who was born in Tawain and immigrated to the U.S.as a child, did not take kindly to the findings revealed as a result of the lawsuit.

The congressman argued what Harvard did here was unique, and wrong, for the university attributed personality traits based on race to Asians.

After launching an investigation into Harvard University's acceptance rates, Students for Fair Admissions Inc accused the Ivy League school of offering Asian American students admission at a disproportionately lower rate than other ethnic groups, The New York Times reports.

But the actual Asian American share of admitted students was 19 percent when extracurricular activities, personal qualities, demographics and other factors were added to the decision-making process, according to a 2013 chart prepared through the review.

Harvard also claims Students for Fair Admissions "is merely a vehicle to litigate the ideological preferences" of Blum and has no standing to sue the university.

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Edward Blum, a legal strategist who founded Students for Fair Admissions, issued a statement saying his group's filing "exposes the startling magnitude of Harvard's discrimination".

In 2016, the Supreme Court examined the topic and upheld race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas, but the justices warned that other colleges still must be able to prove affirmative action is the only way to meet diversity goals.

Yet Harvard alumni who interview applicants and provide their own ratings generally scored Asian-Americans higher than whites, a contrast that Arcidiacono says suggests bias. "Mr. Blum and his organization's incomplete and misleading data analysis paint a dangerously inaccurate picture of Harvard College's whole-person admissions process by omitting critical data and information factors".

Both sides filed papers Friday asking for summary judgment, an immediate ruling in their favor.

Blum also was a driving force behind that case, helping Texas student Abigail Fisher sue the university.

Friday's court filings followed a battle over a trove of Harvard data reviewed by lawyers earlier in the lawsuit. The suit, brought by Students for Fair Admissions, says Harvard imposes what is in effect a soft quota of "racial balancing".

The judge ultimately sided with Harvard, but Blum said Friday that he believes the rest of the records will be released "in the next few weeks".

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