Quotas by any other name

I received the following from Drew Faust, president of Harvard University, 2 days ago.  My comments are at the end.  I’d be interested in what readers think about the issue. Click “Post a Comment” at the end to do so.

Harvard University - Office of the President

Dear Alumni and Friends,

In the weeks and months ahead, a lawsuit aimed to compromise Harvard’s ability to compose a diverse student body will move forward in the courts and in the media. As the case proceeds, an organization called Students for Fair Admissions—formed in part to oppose Harvard’s commitment to diversity—will seek to paint an unfamiliar and inaccurate image of our community and our admissions processes, including by raising allegations of discrimination against Asian-American applicants to Harvard College. These claims will rely on misleading, selectively presented data taken out of context. Their intent is to question the integrity of the undergraduate admissions process and to advance a divisive agenda. Please see here for more information about the case.

Year after year, Harvard brings together a community that is the most varied and diverse that any of us is likely ever to encounter. Harvard students benefit from working and living alongside people of different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives as they prepare for the complex world that awaits them and their considerable talents.

I have affirmed in the past, and do so again today, that Harvard will vigorously defend its longstanding values and the processes by which it seeks to create a diverse educational community. We will stand behind an approach that has been held up as legal and fair by the Supreme Court, one that relies on broad and extensive outreach to exceptional students in order to attract excellence from all backgrounds.

As this case generates widespread attention and comment, Harvard will react swiftly and thoughtfully to defend diversity as the source of our strength and our excellence—and to affirm the integrity of our admissions process. A diverse student body enables us to enrich, to educate, and to challenge one another. As a university community, we are bound across differences by a shared commitment to learning, to pursuing truth, and to embracing the rigor and respect of argument and evidence. We never give up on the promise of a world made better by an assumption revisited, an understanding expanded, or a truth questioned—again and again and again.

Last month, I presided over our Commencement Exercises for a final time and reveled in the accomplishments of our graduates and alumni, and in the joy and pride of the faculty who educated them, the staff who enabled their manifold successes, and the family members who helped nurture them and their aspirations. Tercentenary Theatre was filled with individuals from the widest range of backgrounds and life experiences. It was a powerful reminder that the heart of this extraordinary institution is its people.

Now, we have an opportunity to stand together and to defend the ideals and the people that make our community so extraordinary. I am committed to ensuring that veritaswill prevail.

Drew Faust 

© 2018 The President and Fellows of Harvard College | Harvard.edu

Harvard University | Massachusetts Hall | Cambridge, MA 02138

Dr Faust:

You are not defending diversity — you are defending quotas against Asians as Harvard did against Jews years ago — and I’m not Asian

 M. S.  Chemistry 1962
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  • Friedelcrafty  On June 14, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    Recent letter to WSJ regarding proposal of de Blasio to remove entrance test for admission to Stuyvesant HS et. al. :
    “With Mayor de Blasio so intent on diversity, rather than equality, I suggest he start with the makeup of the New York Yankees and see the reaction of the team’s management and the fans. Certainly the percentage of non-Hispanic European-Americans and Asian-Americans on the team doesn’t reflect their proportion of the population of the city. – Nelson Marans, NY.

    • Friedelcrafty  On June 14, 2018 at 5:13 pm

      Should read “quality”, not “equality”

  • Ashutosh  On June 19, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Indeed: Asian-Americans are the new Jews. Abbott Lawrence Lowell explicitly created quotes for Jews in the 1920s. And just like Harvard is emphasizing “personality” now, he emphasized “wholeness” back then because he knew that the upper-class gentiles would then have an edge over poor Eastern European Jews.

    Also notice how the term “Asian-Americans” in this country excludes Southeast Asians like Indians and Pakistanis.

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