And when they came for the Asian-Americans …

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?

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6 Responses to And when they came for the Asian-Americans …

  1. Anonymous says:

    At least one department has tried to get the $90,000 diversity money for hiring an LDS member. Others have tried to get it to hire women in math and sciences. Tomlin and Geller are ignoring the data, the law, and common sense with the UMRP. UO is begging for a lawsuit on this. Whoever files it can expect a big payoff, as the incompetence in administering this program will prevent UO from mustering a coherent defense even to a sympathetic court.

    • UO Matters says:

      Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

      I’ve tried before to find a plaintiff to sue UO over the UMRP. The normal one-year statute of limitations makes it tough. But, because the money is paid out over three years, I think anyone who did not get the $90,000 because of their race or ethnicity and who is denied a 3rd year contract renewal has an excellent chance of winning a case.

      I have a plethora of documents on the UMRP, going back to Melinda Grier and Dave Frohnmayer and a year-long inquiry by the USDOJ Office of Civil Rights. I would be happy to share these with anyone interested in pursuing this possibility.

  2. From the 80/20 amicus brief (via CHE):

    “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.”

    Referring to the criteria that colleges used to exclude Jewish students in a bygone era, the brief says, “Then, as now, fuzzy notions of ‘character,’ ‘sociability,’ ‘leadership,’ and athletic prowess were utilized to consciously restrict an ethnic group believed to be different in these qualities, lest its members overwhelm schools by virtue of their superior academic performance.”

    Note at all Ivys the Asian fraction mysteriously comes out at around 20% or less, whereas at Caltech and Berkeley (race blind admissions; out of idealism at the former and compelled by law at the latter) the Asian percentage is much higher.

  3. UO Matters says:

    No, I think JH is well above its AA hiring target for that group.

  4. Anonymous says:

    dog says to UOmatters

    surely you have an egregious typo in this post
    and you mean Tomlin hiring Morons …

  5. Anonymous says:

    Or maybe we should cut the crap and just use the money to hire more professors. period.

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