The College Post
The College Post -- Covering Higher Education in America

Harvard Doesn’t Discriminate Against Asian-Americans [Court Ruling]

A federal judge has ruled in favor of Harvard University exonerating it from the charge that its admission process discriminated against Asian-American applicants.

According to a release issued by the university, Judge Allison D. Burroughs in her 130-page ruling said that its policies don’t discriminate on the basis of race and don’t place too much consideration on race while granting admission. Burroughs in her judgment further wrote that the admission program passes “constitutional muster.”

“Harvard has demonstrated that no workable and available race-neutral alternatives would allow it to achieve a diverse student body while still maintaining its standards for academic excellence,” Burroughs wrote.

The Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) organization led by Edward Blum that filed the lawsuit in 2014, has long been alleging Harvard of applying a system aimed at maintaining a virtually unalterable proportion of students from different ethnic groups. The case went to trial in October 2018.

Last August, the U.S. Department of Justice also filed a statement of interest before the court and alleged the school of rating applicants of Asian-American origin lower on leadership and ability scores.

Harvard President Larry Bacow called ruling as the victory for “diversity and inclusion.”

“The consideration of race, alongside many other factors, helps us achieve our goal of creating a diverse student body that enriches the education of every student,” Bacow said in a letter written to the campus community.

“Everyone admitted to Harvard College has something unique to offer our community, and today we reaffirm the importance of diversity — and everything it represents to the world.”

Meanwhile, Blum has expressed disappointment over the court order despite having evidence to challenge the school’s admission process and promised to appeal the decision.

“We believe that the documents, emails, data analysis, and depositions SFFA presented at trial compellingly revealed Harvard’s systematic discrimination against Asian American applicants,” Blum said

Last year, the organization had filed documents in a Massachusetts federal court indicating that the university had analyzed the admissions policy in 2013.

The study highlighted a policy that was unfavorable to candidates of Asian origin, with academic results that were generally higher than those of other ethnic groups.

It showed that because of the policy, Asians represented only 19 percent of admitted students, whereas they would have been 26 percent based on non-racial admissions criteria and 43 percent on academics alone.

The university had dismissed the analysis as “deeply flawed” based on “cherry-picked” documents and says the organization has no proof of discrimination against it.

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