The home of “things said” by the National Association of Scholars.

Washington Voters Reject Referendum 88

Peter Wood

Washington voters reject a legislative initiative to enforce racial preferences. 

Episode #44: After Action Report on SFFA v. Harvard with Dennis Saffran

Peter Wood

Just a few weeks ago, federal district judge Allison Burroughs issued a decision in Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) v. Harvard, ruling that Harvard was not guilty of racial discrimination and affirming the value of diversity in college admissions. Today's guest, Dennis Saffran, wrote our amicus brief last year supporting SFFA. Listen in as we discuss what the judge's ruling means for the future of racial preferences.

The Vote to Abolish Racial Discrimination in Washington State

Peter Wood

In this special episode, Peter Wood is joined by Linda Yang of Washington Asians for Equality, the leading organization in the fight against Referendum 88. 

Washington Voters: Vote NO on Referendum 88

Peter Wood

Earlier this year the Democratic-controlled Legislature of Washington State voted to overturn a ban on racial preferences voted in 20 years ago. Washington voters now have the opportunity to overturn Initiative 1000 and re-instate a ban on race-based preferential treatment. 

How Anti-Semitism Became a Staple of 'Woke' Activism on Campus

Dion J. Pierre

The intertwined history of campus activism and anti-semitism. 

Report: Neo-Segregation at Yale


NAS launches its latest report studying the history and growth of neo-segregation in American higher education.

Racial Preferences at Texas Tech


The Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights negotiated an end to racial preferences at the Texas university. What does it say about the future of these policies at other schools?

Clearing the Air: Racial Preferences in Classics Studies Revisited

David Randall

How will the classics die? We revisit a controversy in the field with new evidence. 

Racial Preferences Shakes a Classical Studies Conference

David Randall

A conference erupted in outrage after a member openly criticized racial preferences. 

Socialism: Then and Now

Svetozar Pejovich

Is the rising socialism in America home-grown socialism or a replica of the three types of socialism from the last century? 

Racial Preferences at Harvard


NAS Board Member Professor Gail Heriot introduces a panel on Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard.

Announcing Our Podcast, Curriculum Vitae


In our inaugural podcast, NAS President Peter W. Wood sits down with Dennis Saffran to discuss Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard.

Harvard's Discrimination Isn't 'Likeable'

David Randall

Racial preferences are unpopular. Who would have thought?

On Point with Peter Wood


On Wednesday, NAS President Peter Wood spoke to NPR’s On Point’s Meghna Chakrabarti about the case Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard.

Moving Against Racial Discrimination


A statement on the Departments of Education and Justice decision to repeal seven guidelines on racial preferences in college admissions.

A Ceiling on Asian Student Enrollment at MIT and Harvard?

Ashley Thorne

A new study, Too Many Asian Americans, provides evidence for racial discrimination in college admissions. 

CCSU Affirmative Action Plan Discriminates

Jay Bergman

One professor calls out Central Connecticut State University's practice of discriminating on the basis of race, ethnicity and gender.

Why a Penn Professor Was Vilified for Telling the Truth About Race

Peter Wood

These days, saying uncomfortable truths aloud can get you banned from teaching First Year law students.

NAS Urges Office of Management and Budget to Reject New Racial Categories

Peter Wood

The U.S. Census should not be a tool for advancing the interests of any political party and should be above the fray.

Video: Debate on Affirmative Action


NAS president Peter Wood and Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy debate affirmative action at an event sponsored by the University Union at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

NAS Joins SLF Supreme Court Amicus Brief

Glenn Ricketts

NAS joins a petition asking the Supreme Court to accept a case that could have major implications for race-based hiring policies.

Roses and Thorns: NAS's Top 10 List for 2015

Ashley Thorne

The National Association of Scholars remembers who stood out this year in higher education. 

UCLA Law Professor Rick Sander: The evidence that racial preferences do cause "mismatch"

George Leef

UCLA law professor Rick Sander writes about the importance of "mismatch" due to racial preferences.

Fisher II and Strict Scrutiny: Not Very Strict

Glenn Ricketts

Jonathan Bean isn't expecting a great deal to change if the Supreme Court holds the University of Texas to "strict scrutiny."

A Primer on the Abigail Fisher Case

Peter Wood

A quick summary of Fisher v. University of Texas.

In WSJ, A Case for Accreditors to Keep Out of Racial Preferences

Gail Heriot

NAS board member Gail Heriot asks Congress to keep educational accreditors from forcing racial preferences on colleges and universities.

NAS Joins New Amicus Brief in Fisher Case

Glenn Ricketts

We join once again with the Pacific Legal Foundation in opposing race-based admissions policies.

Supreme Court to Rehear Fisher Case

Glenn Ricketts

The Supreme Court has an opportunity to revisit an affirmative action case - and hopefully end race-based admissions policies.

The Court Should Finish What It Started in the Fisher Case

Roger Clegg

Roger Clegg argues that the Supreme Court should again review the Fisher v. University of Texas case.

“Whiteness Studies” and Campus Activism

Dan Kemp

Emerging “whiteness” courses are often connected to political purposes. 

Sonia, What Happened?

George W. Dent

Sonia Sotomayor's impassioned dissent in Schuette v. BAMN seems to contradict views she expressed in her memoir, My Beloved Land.

Where do preferential policies stand now?

George Leef

"It is no longer the case that Jim Crow–advantaged whites are being displaced by just-liberated African-Americans. Indeed, it is more and more the case that preferences are used to give an advantage to Latinos over Asian Americans."

Documenting Discrimination in Hiring and Promotion

Peter Wood

NAS seeks to identify academics who believe they have been denied hiring or promotion on the basis of race, ethnicity, or sex.

Arguments for Racial Preferences Losing Ground

Ashley Thorne

As California discards a bill that would overturn Proposition 209, there is evidence that racial preferences are becoming more and more discredited.

Students Sue over Discriminatory Funding at the University of Michigan

Marilee Turscak

The University of Michigan backed a student group lobbying for affirmative action, while denying another group funding for a speaker who argued against racial preferences.

A Very Weak Argument For Discrimination

George Leef

Harvard Law professor Randall Kennedy's new book concluding in favor of continuing racial preferences fails to be persuasive.

Report: US Higher Education System Reinforces “White Privilege”

Glenn Ricketts

A new study concludes that "White Privilege" is actually being worsened by elite colleges and universites.

Bob Weissberg on the Higher Ed Establishment's "Diversity Statement"

George Leef

The higher education establishment has made a feeble and deceptive defense of racial preferences in college admissions.

Affirmative Action: A Change in the Air?

Glenn Ricketts

Public commentary suggests that more academics are expressing dissatisfaction with race-based "diversity" policies.

Diversity After Fisher: The Establishment Speaks

Peter Wood

Doubts about racial preferences could cause fissures in higher ed's coral reef of "diversity."

Poll: Public Support for Affirmative Action at an All-Time Low

Glenn Ricketts

No surprise: public support for affirmative action policies has dropped sharply. But it may be for different reasons than some academics think.

Peter Wood on Larry Parks Show

Peter Wood

In an interview with Larry Parks, NAS president Peter Wood discussed Bowdoin College and the National Association of Scholars' work in higher education reform.

How to Manage Race Relations and Succeed

Glenn Ricketts

Is there an alternative to affirmative action?  Jonathan Bean thinks so.

Speculating on the End of the Racial Spoils System

Robert Weissberg

Robert Weissberg surmises that the crumbling of racial preferences in higher education may be near.

Spring 2013 Academic Questions Issue is Out

Ashley Thorne

The first issue of NAS's quarterly journal's 2013 volume focuses on the Common Core, civics education, racial preferences, and important new books in higher education.

Both Wrong and Bad

Carl Cohen

In a review essay, Cohen says Russell Nieli's Wounds That Will Not Heal "contends that the products of race preference, or affirmative action, are bad—very, very bad."

The Implausible "Stereotype Threat" Excuse

George Leef

Defenders of affirmative action must work hard to explain away a serious problem: the tendency for the students admitted due to preferences to do relatively poorly in their coursework.

Supreme Court to Hear Proposition 2 Case

Glenn Ricketts

The Supreme Court will rule on Michigan's ban on the use of racial preferences in public universities.

Whither Fisher?

Glenn Ricketts

Idle speculations on the Supreme Court's probable ruling in a major affirmative action case.

The "Unfair" Campaign is Invited to UW-Superior

George Leef

UW-Superior endorses a tendentious concept of fairness.

Race and Faculty Hiring

Nevin Montgomery

As the Supreme Court considers the Fisher case, a law professor decribes the hidden aspects of race-based faculty hiring.

Two Books I'd Love to See the Justices Reading

George Leef

Wounds That Will Not Heal and Mismatch take a wrecking ball to the foolish notion that "affirmative action" is a benign policy.

Racial Color-Blindness Won't Defend Itself

Peter Wood

Peter Wood reflects on the recent decision by the Sixth Circuit Court to strike down Michigan's ban on racial preferences in admission to public universities. He considers that we can't take for granted that the Supreme Court will reverse this decision.

Reactions to Court Decision Overturning Michigan Affirmative Action Ban


Scholars offer preliminary thoughts on the Sixth Circuit Appeals Court ruling overturning a voter approved ban on affirmative action policies.

New Study of “Holistic” Admissions at UCLA Generates Controversy

Glenn Ricketts

A new study by a UCLA law professor reveals the extent to which race influences the school's undergraduate admissions policies.

Jennifer Gratz Reflects on the Battle Over Racial Preferences

George Leef

The successful plaintiff in the case against the University of Michigan's undergraduate racial preferences writes about the recently argued Fisher case before the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Fisher v. Texas

Ashley Thorne

As the Supreme Court hears the arguments for and against racial preferences in higher education admissions, NAS gives a roundup of our coverage of the Fisher v. Texas case so far.

The "Painful Truth" About Affirmative Action

Glenn Ricketts

Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor, Jr. state the case bluntly.

Retired Officers Join Obama Administration in Fisher Case

R. Lawrence Purdy

A group of veterans seek to annul the longstanding guarantee of “equal opportunity” without regard to race.

Video: Peter Wood Talks Racial Preferences on Brazilian TV


On the heels of the passage of a law in Brazil expanding racial preferences in higher edcuation, a Brazilian TV station interviewed NAS president Peter Wood.

Against "Diversity"

John Rosenberg

Roger Clegg and John S. Rosenberg offer ten reasons to oppose the "diversity" rationale for racial preferences. They argue that "diversity" is discrimination, and provide evidence that its costs are high.

Teresa Sullivan and Diversity: Then and Now

Glenn Ricketts

University of Virginia president Sullivan once viewed "diversity" very differently than she does now.

How To Talk About Affirmative Action

Glenn Ricketts

NAS's California and Connecticut Affiliates File Amicus Brief in Fisher v. Texas

Ashley Thorne

The friend-of-the-court brief filed by the California Association of Scholars and the Connecticut Association of Scholars asks the Supreme Court to revisit the "diversity" rationale for racial preferences in college admissions.

Asian-American Groups Submit Briefs in Fisher Case Opposing Racial Preferences

Glenn Ricketts

As the Supreme Court approaches a decision, some new briefs oppose racial preferences in college admissions.

Diversity: Obama's Higher Education Agenda, Part 5 of 8

Peter Wood

In the fifth of an eight-part series, Peter Wood examines the president’s pursuit of diversity in higher education.

What Do Student Journalists Say About Fisher v Texas?

Glenn Ricketts

Undergraduate opinion writers and edtorial boards ponder the significance of a major affirmative action case now under review by the Supreme Court.

Should Universities Continue "Affirmative Action" Policies?

George Leef

George Leef and James Sterba debate the usefulness of "affirmative action" in contemporary college admissions.

What Will the Court Do About Affirmative Action?

Glenn Ricketts

John Rosenberg dissects the "diversity' policies at the University of Texas now under scrutiny by the SCOTUS.

Fisher Case Generates Wide Press Coverage, Reactions

Glenn Ricketts

Press coverage and commentary of the US Supreme Court's decision to accept the case of Fisher v. University of Texas for review.

SCOTUS Agrees to Hear Fisher Case

Ward Connerly

The decision of the Supreme Court to hear the Fisher v. UT case is potentially of historic significance.

SCOTUS Grants Certiorari in UTexas Admissions Case

Glenn Ricketts

The Supreme Court grants Certiorari in a major affirmative action case in Texas.


Obama's Higher-Ed Agenda

Peter Wood

Peter Wood surveys the Obama administration’s eight-part higher-education agenda.

Let's Be Frank About Anti-Asian Admission Policies

John Rosenberg

John Rosenberg describes the pervasive admissions bias against Asian students at elite schools, along with the comically untenable denials of those who practice them.

SCOTUS Strikes Down Raced-Based Redistricting in Texas

Glenn Ricketts

Race based legislative boundaries are banned in Texas in a case that bears on university admissions policy.

Far Worse Than Mere Dumbing-Down

George Leef

Robert Weissberg questions APSA's assertion that all knowledge is race based.

Look Who's Endorsing a Race-Based View of Knowledge

Robert Weissberg

A new document from the American Political Science Association views race and epistemology as inseparable.

Why the SCOTUS Should Reverse Grutter

Glenn Ricketts

The 2003 Supreme Court decision in Grutter v Bollinger was severely flawed. Larry Purdy wants it overturned.

Admissions Preferences

George Leef

California has a concrete diversity ceiling that discriminates against high performing students of Asian origin.

Race-Based Affirmative Action Does Intended Beneficiaries No Good

Glenn Ricketts

Admitting poorly prepared minority students to demanding programs in the hard sciences or engineering at elite schools may make admissions officers or affirmative action supporters feel good about themselves, but it virtually sets such students up to fail.

By the Content of Their Character

Glenn Ricketts

A summary of where we stand on group-based preferences, what we've done, and where we're going.

How Widespread is Student Indoctrination?

Jason Fertig

In an age where business students care more about watching MTV than debating economic theory, Jason Fertig encourages us that free thinking students really do exist.

New Diversity Guidelines, Same Old Problems

Glenn Ricketts

Over at NRO, Roger Clegg of the Center for Equal Opportunity has this useful discussion of the Obama adminitration's new "guidance" for colleges and universities seeking to enhance racial "diversity" without getting in trouble with the law. 

Continuing the Debate Over Admissions Preferences

George Leef

In today's Pope Center piece, Notre Dame philosophy professor James Sterba gives his counter-arguments to the case I made against enshrining "socio-economic diversity" as another goal for elite colleges to attain through admissions preferences. We both participated in a forum back in September at Pomona College where that was the topic. I presented my case against that in a piece we published in October.  Professor Sterba responds and I respond to him. I remain convinced that "affirmative action" -- whether to achieve "better racial balance" or to get more students from poorer families into top schools, has minimal and mostly imaginary benefits that come at substantial cost.

"Diversity": Weighing the Cost

John Rosenberg

In spite of budget cutbacks and fiscal crises the annual expenditures for diversity programming in academe continues to be on the rise. As John Rosenberg tallies the cost, can you find the benefit?

NAS California Affiliate Introduces Amicus Brief Filed in Pending Supreme Court Case

John M. Ellis

The California Association of Scholars offers a statement on the amicus curiae brief they submitted in support of Fisher v. University of Texas, a case that challenges the use of racial preferences in university admissions.

Supreme Court May Revisit Racial Preferences

Ashley Thorne

NAS is a "friend of the court" in what could be a landmark case on the diversity rationale for racial preferences in college admissions. 

Better Answers Required to Justify Holistic Admissions Process

W. Lee Hansen

After attending hearings discussing recent findings on racial preferences at UW-Madison, NAS member W. Lee Hansen extends his critique of the admissions process at the university.

Unanswered Questions: UW-Madison Students Protest CEO Report on Racial and Ethnic Preferences in Admissions

Roger Clegg

What really happened during the student protest against the findings of the Center for Equal Opportunity? NAS member W. Lee Hansen, Professor Emeritus of Economics at UW-Madison, documents what he observed on September 13 and offers a new assessment of the controversy.

A Veto for Racial Preferences

Peter Wood

Peter Wood praises California Governor Jerry Brown

Peter Wood on Southern California Public Radio: "Is Our Quest for Diversity Racist?"

Peter Wood

NAS president Peter Wood appeared on a local California radio program to discuss racial preferences.

Evidence of Racial Preferences at UW-Madison?

Kate Hamilton

W. Lee Hansen, a member of NAS and Professor Emeritus of Economics at UW-Madison, provides evidence that the preferential admissions process at UW discriminates based on race and ethnicity. 

"Diversity:" How it Might Work Differently

Glenn Ricketts

Ethnic and racial diversity among students needn't be a problem on college campuses, argues long-time NAS member Russell Nieli. 

Peter Wood Quoted in New York Times on Fisher Case

Peter Wood

A case headed to the Supreme Court may change the way U.S. colleges consider diversity as a rationale for racial preferences in admissions. What really matters, says NAS president Peter Wood, is intellectual diversity.

Berkeley Students' Bake Sale No Piece of Cake

Glenn Ricketts

Judging by the UCal Berkeley administration's nuke 'em reaction, you might have thought that the Ku Klux Klan had staged a rally on campus, rather than a symbolic bake sale by college Republicans protesting the university's race-based admissions policies. Mind you, I didn't expect that the school's "diversity" machine would be exactly thrilled by the sale of differently-priced cupcakes, calculated to reflect the extent to which some students' admissions were weighted higher according to racial or ethnic classifications. But for Pete's sake, why did they send in the 101st airborne? Bob Weissberg has an interesting take on the whole mess in this article over at Minding the Campus.

The Mind of a Pioneering Diversity Officer

John Rosenberg

One diversity guru illustrates the semantic leaps necessary for creating campus diversity bureaucracy.

Mobbing For Preferences

Peter Wood

Peter Wood discusses students' live-action defense of racial preferences at UW Madison.

A New Analogy for Ending Racial Preferences

Ashley Thorne

Roger Clegg suggests the analogy we should use in talking about the end of racial preferences is not a football game with blacks vs. whites, but a marathon with individual runners.

Improving a Bad Analogy

Roger Clegg

CEO president Roger Clegg explains why a familiar football analogy doesn't work as a justification for race preferences.

Amicus Brief in Support of Rehearing Michigan Civil Rights Case

After receiving this amicus brief from NAS and civil rights organizations, the 6th circuit court of appeals has agreed to rehear a case that will determine whether the state of Michigan will ban racial preferences. Court has agreed to do so.

How UW Students React to News They Don't Like

George Leef

The Center for Equal Opportunity released a study on discrimination in admissions at the University of Wisconsin. During its press conference, however, a mob of students rushed in and shouted the event down. 

The Diversity Mania is Raging in Wisconsin

George Leef

A new study by the Center for Equal Opportunity finds that racial preferences at the University of Wisconsin are particularly acute. Will a new Grutter case arise out of the blatant racial preferences in use by UW officials?

Leave It to the Sociologists...

John Rosenberg

This year's meeting of the American Sociological Association includes a paper about minorities' (rational) choices to apply to selective colleges.

NAS Board Member Weighs in on Michigan Civil Rights Case

Gail Heriot

NAS board member Gail Heriot tries to make sense out of the recent federal appeals court decision overturning Michigan's voter-approved ban on racial quotas, but finds the court's legal reasoning baffling.

Another Feeble Case in Favor of Racial Preferences

George Leef

About a month ago, Chronicle Review ran an article purporting to give a new and more powerful argument why top colleges and universities should have “affirmative action” policies. In today’s Pope Center piece, I comment on that article. It’s not the least persuasive, but without intending to do so opens up discussion of the ways colleges could advance toward the author’s goal of “helping all of us.”

More On Sixth Circuit MCI Ruling

Glenn Ricketts

Competitive Enterprise Institute attorney Hans Bader has some interesting commentary on last week's Sixth Circuit ruling invalidating Michigan's voter-approved Civil Rights Initiative. A divided panel, as I reported here last week, ruled that MCI "harmed minorities" because it violated the Equal Protection clause of the US Constitution. But as Bader demonstrates, the only way to construe the appeals court's bizarre logic is to conclude that Equal Protection requires treating people UNequally. A cynic might think that the court intended to reach its result, one way or another. Hopefully, the US Supreme Court will review the case and respect the decision of Michigan's voters.

Two Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Deal a Shocking Blow to the Concept of Equality under the Law

R. Lawrence Purdy

Two judges have denied the fundamental principle of human equality approved by Michigan voters in 2006; their action opens the door to racial preferences in that state's higher education.

Federal Appeals Court Invalidates Michigan Civil Rights Initiative

Glenn Ricketts

A divided three-judge panel of the 6th Federal Appeals Circuit has struck down Michigan's voter-approved constitutional amendment banning the consideration of race or sex in college admissions decisions. I haven't had the opportunity to parse the specific details of the constitutional basis on which the court reached this conclusion, only that Propostiion 2, as it was known as a ballot initiative, harms minority applicants. The next step, if there is one, will be an appeal to the full bench of the 6th circuit or to the US Supreme Court. The decision comes at a time when the California Legislature is considering a law which would re-introduce racial quotas into the admissions process there, in direct conflict with the provisions of Proposition 209. This you'll recall, was also a voter-approved initiative banning such preferences. Our California affiliate, as noted here, is vigorously opposing this seemingly back-door maneuver. Ward Connerly, a tireless opponent of racial preferences and supporter of both ballot initiatives, gets it right when says that it's becoming impossible for the people to make their own collective decisions in these matters, due to the arbitrary intervention of the courts. Let's hope that an appeal is not long in coming.

CAS Chairman's Testimony Against Racial Preferences Bill for California State Senate Education Committee

Charles Geshekter

Testimony of CAS Chairman Charles Geshekter testimony before the California Senate education against SB 185, April 27, 2011.

California Affiliate Continues Campaign Against Racial Preference Bill

John Ellis

The California Association of Scholars steps up its opposition to proposed legislation which would authorize the use of racial preferences in college admissions. Have the state's legislators forgotten Proposition 209?

Divided US Appeals Court Upholds Texas "Top Ten Per Cent" Law

Glenn Ricketts

Our friend Roger Clegg of the Center for Equal Opportunity notes at Phi Beta Cons that a full US Fifth Circuit Appeals court has upheld the ruling of a three-judge panel in favor of the "top ten per cent" admissions policies adopted for state institutions in Texas. You can also read about it here at Inside Higher Education.

Admissions Angst Over Race Checkboxes Highlights Underlying Problems

Ashley Thorne

College admissions offices wrestle with the bewildering contortions of race-based admissions.

Whose Imperative?

Douglas Campbell

The president of CSU-Chico declares that there is a “diversity imperative,” but inadvertently reveals his true agenda.

California Association of Scholars Opposes New Racial Preferences Senate Bill

John Ellis

Another bill threatens to overturn Proposition 209; the ever-vigilant California Association of Scholars speaks out.

‘Progressive’ Women’s Groups Ignore Admissions Favoritism for Men

Ashley Thorne

Cross posted from Phi Beta Cons. To boost declining male enrollment, colleges are giving admissions preferences to men.

A "Desperate Defense" for Affirmative Action Gets Demolished

George Leef

In this essay on Minding the Campus, Russ Nieli responds to a recent article in the American Scholar by William Chace. 

Another Piece of Evidence that Federal Spending is Out of Control

George Leef

In this eye-popping Minding the Campus essay, KC Johnson writes about a recent federally-funded conference that’s as clear a case of wasteful special interest group spending as you’ll ever find. I doubt that there is any constitutional justification for the National Science Foundation at all, but certainly not for it to spend tax dollars on a conference devoted to how minority political science professors can get tenure.

Study Finds Racial Discrimination in Admissions at Two Universities

Ashley Thorne

A report conducted by NAS member Althea Nagai shows major bias against white applicants to Ohio State University and Miami University.

Yes, It Is Time for Complacency on Racial Diversity

George Leef

The Chronicle has an article by Arthur Coleman and Scott Palmer (both lawyers who worked in the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights) entitled "No Time for Complacency on Racial Diversity." George Leef of the Pope Center sent off a letter in reply, arguing that we ought to be complacent about racial diversity, as well as diversity of all other kinds.

Diversity, Texas Style

Glenn Ricketts

KC Johnson and Charlotte Allen provide some useful analysis of the Fifth Circuit's appeals level decision upholding the the race-based admissions policies of the University of Texas, Austin. 

Race and College Admissions: Still More

Glenn Ricketts

The day simply has to be coming when the issue of race in college admissions or faculty hiring generates no new litigation "diversity" policies, because everyone is finally one the same page: we all agree that this is what the law says, and this is what we'll do in shaping our institutional policies. It hasn't come yet. 

The Same Tired Arguments on Racial Preferences

George Leef

In today's Pope Center Clarion Call, John Rosenberg reviews a recent book that purports to show how terrible it was for California to have adopted Proposition 209, thereby dropping racial preferences. Alas, it's just the same, tired, often-refuted claims, stated over and over. 

Racism at Wesleyan?

Peter Wood

Peter Wood reviews the affirmative action bake sale controversy at Wesleyan University and calls for a more circumspect use of the label "racist."

Court Dismisses Challenge to Prop. 209

Ashley Thorne

A federal court dismissed a lawsuit attempting to overturn California's law banning racial preferences.

Diversity Babble

Douglas Campbell

California State University, Chico circumvents the law with disingenuous rationalizations for "diversity."

Wesleyan's Affirmative Action Reaction

Ashley Thorne

Faculty and students at Wesleyan University lashed out in anger against a campus group for its demonstration on the injustice of racial preferences.

Victory: Proposition 107 Passes in Arizona

Ashley Thorne

We are excited to announce that Arizonans have approved Prop. 107, a ballot initiative that prohibits racial preferences in the state’s public institutions, including public colleges and universities. This is a great victory for racial equality and merit-based higher education, and NAS is proud to have played a part. Read NAS's argument in favor of Prop. 107.  

Quotas at Quinnipiac: "We Very Much Want an African-American for That Particular Position"

Ashley Thorne

A university president announces his intention to hire a "high-quality African-American." At a meeting last week he said, "Having that person be an African-American is very important to concluding that search."

At the Ballot in AZ Nov. 2: Proposition 107

Ashley Thorne

Next week Arizona citizens have the historic opportunity to reject racial preferences in state institutions, including public universities, by voting YES on Proposition 107. Learn more: NAS's argument in favor of Prop. 107 A letter from NAS member Stuart Hurlbert to Arizonans Articles on Prop. 107

A Letter to Arizonans on Prop. 107

Stuart Hurlbert

Next week Arizona citizens have the historic opportunity to reject racial preferences in state institutions, including public universities.

"Lily-White Imbalances": Blatant Reverse Racism at Brooklyn College

Ashley Thorne

A faculty member's call for racial discrimination gives us a window into the shallow world of "diversity" in academe.

Governor Schwarzenegger Vetoes Racial Preferences Bill

John Ellis

A victory for the California Association of Scholars, who argued against a bill that would have legalized racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination.

Legacy Preferences Are Bad; So Are Racial Preferences

George Leef

In today's Pope Center piece, I respond to a recent NYT article by Richard Kahlenberg in which he argues against legacy preferences in college admissions. I think the case  against legacy preferences is sound. I part company with him, however, on how to remedy the situation (I don't favor either legislation or litigation) and argue that his attempt at distinguishing legacy preferences from racial preferences (which he doesn't criticize, I suspect because to do so would cost him powerful allies) is a failure.

Let's Give Diversity the Gate

Glenn Ricketts

I could be wrong, but in the wake of all the mudwrestling that's followed the NAACP's recent branding of Tea Partiers as racists, I think that the ideological fulcrum of the "diversity" debate has significantly shifted ground. For once, the response by public figures has been direct and emphatic, instead of the usual backpedaling after some vague, apologetic mumbling about the need to "include" all groups, the value of a diverse work force or the wish to avoid offending anyone, etc., etc., etc. The public rejection of the NAACP's allegations, moreover, has been bi-partisan, including prominent Republicans such as Sarah Palin and no less than Vice President Biden and President Obama on the Democratic side of the aisle. Hopefully, this means that absurd or silly allegations of racism will no longer compel politicans and bureaucrats to jump through the hoop as they've done so frequently in the past. Especially encouraging, though, is this piece by Virgina Democrat James Webb in today's Wall Street Journal. Webb argues that although "diversity" policies had their origins in the laudable and necessary efforts to redress the unique injustices suffered by black Americans, they have long since become obsessed with skin color or ethnic background, often with unconcealed hostility toward whites. Thus, newly arrived immigrants often benefit from these policies, even though their own experiences don't remotely resemble those of blacks. It doesn't stop there either, since in many academic institutions, "diversity" and "inclusiveness" now extend to ever -expanding categories of sexuality, life experiences or those with physical disabilities. A particularly hard sell for me has always been affirmative action for "women" within the diversity rubric, as though the largely white, middle-class feminist movement could claim grievances comparable to those suffered historically by blacks. Yet many academic job postings routinely specify that "women and ethnic or racial minorities are especially encouraged to apply." That doesn't compute. Anyway, Webb says it's now time to end racial preferences, stop discriminating against whites, and simply treat everyone equally under the law. Amen.

Potemkin Admissions: Law Professors Propose to Hide LSAT Data

George W. Dent

A movement is afoot to persuade law schools to withhold LSAT scores from U.S. News and World Report. The idea is to make it harder for the public to see how much the pursuit of racial preferences drags down the quality of admissions.

Diversity Discriminates

Ashley Thorne

How elite colleges and universities unfairly rig admissions standards and call it "diversity."

Conferring Privilege: DOJ, Law Schools, and the New Politics of Race

Peter Wood

On the 45th anniversary of affirmative action, a law school association is working against colorblindness.

Jennifer Gratz on the Real Question About Race

Ashley Thorne

Jennifer Gratz, plaintiff in Gratz v. Bollinger in 2003, testified in court last week against AB 2047, a new bill that if passed, will overturn Proposition 209 and allow racial preferences in California university admissions. When asked, "If you had to bet your $5 on which kid was going to be more successful...one kid white, one kid of color, which kid do you think you should bet on?" she replied, "I wouldn't bet on either kid based on their race, I would look at the kid as a whole." Her interviewer pressed, "I regrettably come to the conclusion that race does still matter in terms of the ability of young people to succeed," to which Gratz answered, "I think the question should be: how do we get to the point, then, where it does not matter? And the government sticking its nose in the issue of race and determining based on someone's race who gets into a university, and picking and choosing winners and losers based on skin color, does not get us there." Watch the exchange in the 5-minute video below (via ACRI):


CAS Opposes Racial Preferences Bill

John Ellis

The California Association of Scholars urges CA Senate not to pass a bill that will overturn Proposition 209 and allow the use of racial preferences in university admissions.

The Diversity Mania and Discrimination Against Asians

George Leef

In this week's Pope Center Clarion Call, Roger Clegg addresses the question of discrimination against Asian students. Of course, selective colleges don't say, "We're against those geeky, overly studious Asian kids. Let 'em go somewhere else!" Rather, they just don't want to have "too many" of them, so as to have enough room for all the "under-represented" groups, whose students are presumed to add so much interest to the student body. The result is the same, though: some students are rejected on account of their ancestry.

Achievement Gap Politics


A graduate's account illuminates why ed schools try to keep students with non-progressive views out.

CAS Letter to California Assembly: Do Not Pass Racial Preferences Bill

John Ellis

The California Association of Scholars urges the State Assembly not to pass a bill that will overturn Proposition 209 and allow the use of racial preferences in university admissions.

Attack of the Giant Plethora

Peter Wood

CSU Chico is asking for feedback on the draft of its diversity action plan for 2010-2015. We are happy to oblige.

A Half-Dozen Push-Backs for Faculty Hiring Committee Meetings

Roger Clegg

Tips for standing up against "diversity" hiring.

Newsletter from BAMN...No Comment

Ashley Thorne

The thuggish group calling itself the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) is trying to take down Proposition 209, which bans racial preferences in California.

Disparate Impact and Higher Education: Here Comes the DOE

Glenn Ricketts

Since the 1971 Supreme Court case Griggs v. Duke Power Company, employers have been held liable for using hiring tests on which minorities perform worse than non-minorities. The liability may become greater with the new crack-down on "disparate impact" in colleges and universities.

NAS Urges Court to Rule Racial Preferences at U Texas Unconstitutional

Ashley Thorne

The NAS has signed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.

"Diversity" Infection Spreading to Med Schools

George Leef

The mania over "diversity" (that is, preferences for certain people whose ancestry puts them into an "underrepresented" category) has swept through most of American higher education. It's bad enough when, say, English departments fret that they aren't adequately "modeling diversity," but far more worrisome when medical schools do. In this Pope Center article today, I write about this disturbing phenomenon.

Student Gov Officers Appointed by Race at UMass

Ashley Thorne

Alana Goodman, a student at the University of Massachusetts, has published an excellent article, "Institutionalized Racism in Student Government," in the Collegian, the schoool's student newspaper. Here's an excerpt:

As we prepare to swear in our elected representatives to the SGA Senate next week, UMass students should be aware that 13 percent of our SGA Senators will not have even competed in Tuesday’s elections. Instead, they will be appointed to their positions before the election results even come in, solely on the basis of skin color. This portion of the Senate is appointed by a registered student organization (RSO) called the African American, Latino, Asian American, and Native American (ALANA) Caucus (no relation to this columnist). Only minority students who fit one of those four racial categories– or other students who the Caucus approves as “minority allies”– are considered eligible for these Senate seats. [...] This practice has been going on for years, and in addition to its sleaziness it’s also illegal.

Thursday Theatrics

Ashley Thorne

Inside: Fighting feminist falsehoods, Merit-al bliss, UT Austin quashes Western civ curriculum, Clinton and the climate, AP exam-graders and 'Kool-Aid," and a new AQ issue.

The Score: Test Rigging before Ricci

Glenn Ricketts

Twenty years before Ricci, two NAS members debunked

Selling Merit Down the River

Russell K. Nieli

NAS presents a major review essay on the third "River" book supporting racial preferences.

The Race Isn't Over

Ashley Thorne

Complying with federal regulations, Virginia Tech calls on students to identify their race and ethnicity.

"Specious and Seducing": Alexander Hamilton on Group Preferences

Glenn Ricketts

Arizona puts a civil rights measure on the ballot for 2010. Alexander Hamilton comments.

HERI's American College Teacher: Is It All in the Eyes of the Spinmeisters?

Tom Wood

Be wary of HERI; its survey conclusions can be deceiving.

Weighing the Evidence: New Studies on Racial Preferences at Three Universities

Glenn Ricketts

NAS affiliates helped the Center for Equal Opportunity document discrimination in law school admissions.

What Does a Chief Diversity Officer Actually Do?

Peter Wood

Comments on Williams and Wade-Golden's prescriptions for the role of the "diversity messiah"

The Effects of Proposition 209 on California: Higher Education, Public Employment, and Contracting

Charles Geshekter

This is an article from the "Future of Race Preferences" issue of Academic Questions (vol. 21, no. 3). It is an address that was originally presented at

What You Learn Depends on What (and Whom) You Ask

Steve Balch

Does diversity in the medical classroom enhance students' ability to care for minority patients? A new study supposedly provides evidence to that effect. But the survey omits some essential elements and thus fails to take an accurate pulse.

Activists Only: Reading Between the Lines of an Academic Job Ad

Peter Wood

U Mass Amherst is looking for a new linguistic anthropologist who fits with the university's politically correct policies and its commitment to a "racialized" outlook. Where does such a job description leave qualified non-minority applicants? Where does it leave anthropology students?

No Fire Escape for the Copyist

Ashley Thorne

This week, Columbia announced its decision to fire Madonna Constantine, a Teachers College professor who in October said she found a noose on her office doorknob.

10. Just Say No to Racial Preferences

Tom Wood

Tom Wood asks the relevant question about racial preferences and contextualizes diversity research at the time of the Gratz and Grutter cases.

By No Means: Michigan Judge Turns Tables on Advocacy Groups Determined to Derail Civil Rights Initia

Terry Pell

Terry Pell gives the first public analysis of the recent court decision ending (for now) the legal challenges to the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative.

9. The Marriage of Affirmative Action and Transformative Education

Tom Wood

This investigative report marks a turning point for How Many Delawares? Now that we better understand the beast we are tracking, we hope to provide an even better account in future installments of our series.

Preferring Merit: Why Racial Preferences Are Worse than Legacy Admissions

Peter Wood

From Our Executive Director

The Copyist: The Plagiarist and the Noose

Ashley Thorne

Columbia Teachers College professor, charged with plagiarism, cries racism.

4. No Escape at U Mass Amherst

Tom Wood

Located in western Massachusetts, the University of
Massachusetts Amherst is a national research university
recognized for superb faculty, outstanding teaching and top-notch students
who come from across the state and around the world.

U.S. Commission: "Little Evidence" Diversity Improves Student Performance

The United States Commission on Civil Rights has just issued a major report, The Benefits of Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Elementary and Secondary Education. (Available in PDF here.) The Commission reached a startling conclusion: "there is little evidence that racial and ethnic diversity in elementary and secondary schools results in significant improvement in academic performance."