Harvard Isn’t Unfair to Asian-American Applicants, Say Officials in Court
Harvard officials continue to deny any unfairness in its admission process as the trial into Asian discrimination lawsuit enters into the second week.
The trial which began in a federal court in Boston last Monday saw Harvard officials testifying in support of the university, reiterating that “the admissions process treats every applicant fairly and equally.”
“We certainly do everything in our power, you know, to treat every applicant fairly,” Dean of Admissions William Fitzsimmons told the court. The trail is being considered as one of the significant race cases in decades and could transform the nation’s higher education landscape.
According to the Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) organization that filed a lawsuit in 2014, Harvard has long been applying a system aimed at maintaining a virtually unalterable proportion of students from different ethnic groups.
In opening arguments, the group’s lawyer Adam Mortara claimed that Harvard had used personality criteria to suppress Asian admissions in favor of black, Hispanic and white applicants.
The lawyers have been further questioning the Harvard officials about a slide deck compiled by the university’s Office of Institutional Research (OIR) in 2013 which noted its admission process unfavorably affecting Asian American applicants.
Meanwhile, Harvard has been strongly contending the claims of the group. In coming days, the Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana, former Harvard President Drew Faust, and former dean of Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences Michael D. Smith are expected to testify before the court on university’s behalf.