Harvard President Calls Lawsuit Charging Admissions Discrimination 'Data Taken Out Of Context'

On Tuesday, the president of Harvard University told alumni that the lawsuit accusing Harvard of discriminating against Asian-Americans in admissions sought “to paint an unfamiliar and inaccurate image of our community and our admissions processes. … These claims will rely on misleading, selectively presented data taken out of context.”

The Wall Street Journal reports, “The lawsuit against Harvard was filed in 2014 by Students for Fair Admissions, a nonprofit whose members include Asian-American students who were denied admission to Harvard. The plaintiffs allege Harvard intentionally discriminates against Asian-Americans by limiting the number of Asian-American students who are admitted and holding them to a higher standard than students of other races.”

President Drew Faust was responding after Harvard had filed numerous motions to dismiss, which were denied by the trial judge, leaving the issue in the discovery phase. As John Hinderaker notes at Powerline, “Plaintiffs are requesting that files allegedly showing decades of discrimination against Asian-Americans be made public.”

Faust wrote:

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.

As Hinderaker writes, “Translation: Harvard’s ‘commitment to diversity’ is realized by discriminating in favor of some ethnic groups, and against others. Further, questioning such discrimination–not engaging in it–represents a ‘divisive agenda.’”

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