5/31/2012 updates. The Volokh Conspiracy gives a round-up and some analysis. From Peter Schmidt in the Chronicle:
A national federation of more than 200 Indian-American groups has joined two other prominent Indian organizations in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to end race-conscious college admissions in a case involving the University of Texas at Austin.
Twenty-two current and former federal civil-rights officialshave joined in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the race-conscious admissions policy at the University of Texas at Austin, arguing that it oversteps not only the Education Department’s guidelines but also legal advice given to colleges by higher-education groups.
My impression of the many programs at UO that give racial and ethnic preferences to students and faculty is that while they are sometimes well intentioned, the people supporting them are either totally unaware of the law or trying to circumvent it. I’m hoping that the new VP for Diversity, Yvette Alex-Assensoh – who has a law degree – will move us towards more effective and legal alternatives based on SES instead.
5/30/2012: Scott Jaschik of InsideHigherEd on the amicus brief filed by Asian-American advocacy groups in *opposition* to affirmative action programs in Texas universities:
The brief filed Tuesday on behalf of Asian-American groups Tuesday focused less on the Texas admissions policy than on the consideration of race generally in college admissions. “Admission to the nation’s top universities and colleges is a zero-sum proposition. As aspiring applicants capable of graduating from these institutions outnumber available seats, the utilization of race as a ‘plus factor’ for some inexorably applies race as a ‘minus factor’ against those on the other side of the equation. Particularly hard-hit are Asian-American students, who demonstrate academic excellence at disproportionately high rates but often find the value of their work discounted on account of either their race, or nebulous criteria alluding to it,” says the brief.
UO physicist Steve Hsu had opinion pieces in the NY Times and Bloomberg on this issue a while back. And UO’s program to give $90,000 to departments that hire minorities, except Asian physicists, is described here. I’m not kidding. Maybe Tomlin should give the money for hiring Mormons?