affirmative action

Roslyn Chavda, a former assistant professor at the University of New Hampshire, was hired at the school during a hiring freezebecause of the school’s “ongoing efforts to enhance racial diversity on campus.”

Chavda was fired from her job in 2012 due to poor performance reviews and failure to publish in scholarly journals, according to UNH.

Chavda claimed that a white male untenured professor hired around the same time as she also did not publish, and is still employed by the school. She also had claimed gender discrimination, having had issues due to giving birth to twins shortly after her arrival at UNH.

Her claims were recently defeated in court:

Chavda has produced no evidence of any racial animus on the part of any of her colleagues in the political science department. She has produced evidence that her colleagues knew that the only reason the department was able to hire her was her race. But, she has not produced any evidence that any member of the department was displeased by the circumstances of Chavda’s hiring or harbored any animosity toward African Americans specifically or people of color generally.

Although she refers to “venom” hurled by her colleagues, the only venom of which she provides any evidence consists of comments about her deficiencies in teaching, scholarship, and interactions with colleagues in the department.

And, while she has produced evidence that several of her colleagues harbored serious doubts about her competence long before she was removed from the tenure track, none of those internal P&T Committee communications give any indication that her colleagues harbored racial animus.

Read the full full court decision here.

h/t to Instapundit.

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After a long paean to the wisdom of the two judges on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who upheld the University of Texas-Austin’s race-conscious admissions process for a segment of applicants, New York Times op-ed columnist Linda Greenhouse – the paper’s former Supreme Court correspondent – explains why she thinks the Supreme Court won’t touch the case again.

A little background: The Supreme Court sent back Fisher v. University of Texas to the 5th Circuit last year with explicit instructions to give UT-Austin “no deference” and instead apply “strict scrutiny” to the school’s claims that its admissions policies are “narrowly tailored” to achieve diversity, as The College Fix noted last week.

Greenhouse says the two judges upholding the program – the third dissented – went to great lengths to make it “cert-proof,” meaning the Supreme Court won’t accept Abigail Fisher’s promised appeal:

The case is complicated because the Texas plan is complicated; Judge Higginbotham called it “a unique creature” that “offers no template for others.” This may be the opinion’s most brilliant stroke, reducing this high-profile case to an eccentric one-off — just the kind of case the Supreme Court ordinarily steers clear of. Abigail Fisher’s backers have vowed to take the case back to the Supreme Court. But unless the new appeal offers a plausible vehicle for getting rid of affirmative action — a goal for which, as last June’s decision demonstrated, there are not five votes, why would the justices bother? [emphasis added]

Greenhouse predicts the next plaintiff in a race-conscious program challenge won’t be white:

Edward Blum, the frontman for a network of conservative foundations that channel money to his Project on Fair Representation, is currently scouring the elite college landscape to find a new Abigail Fisher (he recruited the first one) willing to lend his or her (hopefully Asian, this time) name to challenge a more typical admissions plan.

Asian students may be the biggest losers in any plan that swaps out objective admissions criteria for bias-prone subjective reviews, as former College Fix editor Robby Soave writes at Reason regarding proposed changes to New York City elite public school admissions:

While I can understand the desire to assist groups that aren’t making the cut for selective public schools, it doesn’t seem fair—or morally justifiable—to stack the game against Asians seeking admittance merely because other Asians have fared well.

Of course, this is exactly what universities practicing affirmative action have done for years, using ethnicity-based admission systems that grade Asian applicants on a much higher curve. Should students be judged on their own merits or against the expected accomplishments of other people who happen to look like them?

Read Greenhouse’s full analysis here, and Soave’s review of the New York City admissions debate here.

CORRECTION: This post originally misidentified Robby Soave as a contributor to The College Fix. It has been updated to identify him as the site’s former editor.

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The University of California Los Angeles has had its cover blown wide open.

According to UCLA Professor Tim Groseclose in his new book, “Cheating: An Insider’s Report on the Use of Race in Admissions at UCLA,” the public university has conducted under the table affirmative action programs – despite the practice being illegal in California.

The public university did so in an effort to admit black students at a much higher rate than they would have been if the school had followed the letter of the law, his research found. Campus officials’ decisions had a detrimental effect on the acceptance rates of white and Asian students, according to the data he unearthed.

“I happened to be on the faculty oversight committee at UCLA and it was clear there was cheating going on,” Groseclose said in an interview with The College Fix. “I never would have written anything at all about admissions in college if I hadn’t been on this committee.”

The book details how UCLA admissions personnel used a “holistic” approach to their decisions. Groseclose said he believes that the holistic approach facilitated the ability of the admissions staff to grant under-the-table racial preferences.

UCLA spokesman Ricardo Vazquez told Fox News that the school “will not address specific assertions made by Prof. Groseclose,” but said “UCLA believes its admissions process to be fair, transparent and consistent with state law.”

When the state’s voters in 1996 passed Proposition 209, the California Civil Rights Initiative, it was the first successful ballot initiative to forbid the use of race, sex, and ethnicity in public employment decisions, including admission to state universities.

Several states have followed California’s lead, most notably Michigan, which banned the practice by a ballot initiative in 2006.

Groseclose said he believes that the affirmative action activity continued illegally at the urging and coercion of the state legislature and alumni groups.

“When UCLA had a drop in African-American admissions, there was a crisis on campus – there were protests at the chancellor’s office,” Groseclose said. “And the chancellor showed up at my committee – and this was remarkable, I never heard of this before – and he lobbied us to change the admissions system.”

“He said there were several constituencies of UCLA distressed at the low number of African-Americans,” Groseclose added. “He said at least two of those constituencies were black alumni groups and the other was the legislature in Sacramento. He certainly implied that our funding was going to be cut if we didn’t increase diversity.”

The legislature was urging and even strongarming the university into breaking the law.

Despite these obvious signs of illegal activity, Groseclose claimed he could never access admissions data for himself, even after requesting it.

“When I asked for a thousand random admissions files, which I thought was a legitimate duty and undertaking of my committee, UCLA refused,” he said.

The reluctance to release the files sounded alarms, Groseclose said, and it raised his suspicions that the university was engaging in clearly illegal activity. He received the data only after filing a Public Records Act in California.

Groseclose published these findings and more in April. He is also the author of “Left Turn: How Liberal Bias Distorts The American Mind.”

An amendment to the California constitution was proposed in 2012 which would have allowed for the consideration of race, color, ethnicity, and national origin in admissions decisions for public universities. It passed the state Senate but was ultimately withdrawn from consideration after public opposition to the bill made its future politically unviable.

As The College Fix reported last winter, at UCLA “white students are actually severely ‘underrepresented’ compared to black students: the white percentage at UCLA is only 37.7 percent of the total percentage of white residents in the state, whereas the black percentage at UCLA is 57.6 percent of the total statewide percentage of black residents – a 20 point difference.”

College Fix contributor Dominic Lynch is a student at Loyola University Chicago.

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Racial preferences are increasingly unpopular among American Youth:

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OPINION: How can we truly move toward racial equality if we are treated as less than capable?

The Supreme Court recently ruled affirmative action is unconstitutional. Right on cue, the decision was lamented as a blow to racial equality. Some even accused the Supreme Court of racism.

After the decision, a peer wrote an op-ed in my school newspaper – Indiana University’s Daily Student– in support of affirmative action, paraphrasing President Lyndon Johnson who once said:

“You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say you are free to compete with all the others, and still just believe that you have been completely fair.”

Perhaps that sentiment was once relevant. It’s not anymore.

As much as I appreciate liberals’ concern for the welfare and success of black Americans, we are not hobbling around with crippled feet. We’re smart, capable, and successful. Yes, we need opportunities, just like every American! But opportunity and racial preferences are not the same thing.

Opportunity gives a chance to a qualified, capable individual. Preference grants someone favor. I am grateful for every opportunity I have been afforded in my life, but I don’t need to be coddled as if I am unable to succeed without special attention. Just look at Kwasi Enin, an African American high school student with a whopping 5.0 GPA who got accepted into every Ivy League college – a feat only achieved by few.CrystalHill

As black students, being treated as a special class of citizens is the worse thing that could happen, because we will not be held to the same standards as our white peers. The most relevant example is the ‘I,Too’ movement happening at different universities, in which minority students write down racial experiences they have had, whether negative or positive, as a response to the lack of diversity at their school. Many of their experiences had to do with, unsurprisingly, other students thinking that they were affirmative action placements. They felt demeaned and underestimated, two of the worst feelings in the world, yet they would just as readily fight for the very thing that undermines them.

How can we truly move toward racial equality if we are treated as less than capable? People like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas are castigated because they dare to believe that affirmative action policies do not achieve what they promise.

Affirmative action might give us the opportunity to get through the door, but once we’re there we lose the opportunity to be seen as equals. That is the only thing that is truly backward.

As for my university, the number of black students enrolled at my Big Ten school amounts to 4 percent of the student population. Many people say that the university is not trying hard enough. I am starting to think that diversity can only be fostered, not legislated.

If anything, a lack of opportunities and hindered progression has more to do with socio-economic status than race.

I come from a middle-class background, and have had chances and opportunities that many of my white peers from lower socio-economic backgrounds haven’t had. I would be dishonest to pretend that I was somehow less privileged than them, when I have been able to advance because of the opportunities given to me, some deserved and undeserved.

More often than not, it’s not intellectual and academic ability that is lacking, it’s the means to attend certain schools. There are only but so many scholarships and grants to go around.

When America was still a deeply prejudiced nation, African Americans needed affirmative action to ensure they wouldn’t be passed over for positions or rejected from schools simply because of their race. However, today we live in a society where political correctness doesn’t let us acknowledge the progress that has been made since then, lest we think we live in a “post-racial” society.

While I’ve never thought that, I do think we have reached the point where we can scale back laws demanding racial quotas. I have a hard time understanding why working to get rid of racial quotas is a step backward. If anything – it’s a step forward – because it acknowledges that, in a country where there are black professionals in every arena, as well as a black president in his second term, America is moving leaps and bounds ahead of its deeply racist past.

College Fix contributor Crystal Hill is a student at Indiana University.

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IMAGE: Crystal Hill


ANN ARBOR – In the wake of a Supreme Court decision this week that effectively bans affirmative action in Michigan, a small but vocal group of student radicals converged in the center of the University of Michigan campus on Thursday to protest, saying the ruling is akin to former Jim Crow racial segregation laws and the high court’s infamous separate but equal ruling.

“This decision is the Plessy vs. Ferguson of our lifetime, a decision that says ‘a white majority state has the right to vote on the political and educational future and rights of minority communities,’” the student protestors’ spokesman, Jose Alvarenga, declared to the crowd during the demonstration.

“And those decisions that cemented the Jim Crow in the Old South were not ended by legal means,” he continued, adding they “were ended by a civil rights movement, and today we see this as building a new civil rights movement in our lifetime to defeat the new Jim Crow and these legal policies that discriminate against minority communities.”

At the rally, the students demanded free tuition and race-based enrollment quotas to be installed at the University of Michigan, ground zero for the ongoing battle between affirmative action proponents and foes.protestUM2

The 30 or so protestors – all members of three extremist campus student groups whose official spokesman, Alvarenga, is a student in the country illegally – chanted phrases such as “double minority enrollment now, open it up or we’ll shut it down” and “they say ‘Jim Crow’ we say ‘hell no’” during the two-hour rally.

The members of the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration & Immigrant Rights, and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary also alleged University of Michigan’s admissions administrators are racist.

“With this campaign, we want to expose the racism in the admissions policies and present a real clear picture of who the actual people who are applying are, and to make it clear that the students are qualified, in fact, and should have the right to come to university as well,” said Alvarenga in an interview with The College Fix.

“If you’re not getting financial aid…that’s the same as getting a rejection letter from the University of Michigan, and so we are also fighting for an increase in financial aid for students to come,” Alvarenga said.

He also said the Supreme Court is racist.

“I think with this decision by the Supreme Court…it’s clear that, that um, like the re-segregation of higher education…is not just, um, like at the university, but also it is like, on the legal level, both at the state level and also at the national level that are discriminating against minority communities,” Alvarenga said in an interview with The College Fix.

“Not just the university,” he added. “We have seen just this past year the Supreme Court make, um, very conservative, um, very racist decisions, like one after another, um that are like, you know, direct attacks on the political and equality of minority communities in this country.”

Thursday’s rally was preceeded by another, similar one on April 16, held by By Any Means Necessary – this time to demand the admittance of high school seniors Brooke Kimbrough and Daisha Martin following both students’ rejection.

Kimbrough, an African American senior at University Prep in Detroit, had an ACT score of 23 and a GPA of 3.6, according to FOX 2 News. At Michigan, about 76 percent of students have a GPA of 3.75 or higher, while the mid-range ACT scores for accepted students are between 28 and 32.

But Alvarenga called Michigan’s admissions policies racist, inferring Kimbrough’s rejection was because she was black, not because she was unqualified.

“Some of the students who are here are students who are appealing their rejection letters…the university keeps saying that, ‘there’s not enough qualified students’ or that they’re letting students in but they don’t want to come here,” he said.

On Tuesday, the Detroit News reported that a BAMN attorney called for the university to drop ACT and SAT scores in admissions considerations, deeming them discriminatory.

And in response to Thursday’s protest, a campus official answered some of their questions after the group descended on an administration building. The official agreed to arrange a public meeting to listen to the groups’ concerns, according to the Michigan Daily campus newspaper.

However other students seemed less impressed by the display. There were only about a dozen or so onlookers.

At one point a black student walked by and asked what was going on. He was told it was a rally for affirmative action.

He responded he’s already at the University of Michigan, “so I don’t care what happens with this.”

College Fix contributor Derek Draplin is a student at the University of Michigan.

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IMAGES: Fox 2 News screenshots