Scholars File Amicus Brief in Students for Fair Admissions v Harvard College

National Association of Scholars

NEW YORK, NY, July 30, 2018 - The National Association of Scholars has filed an amicus brief in support of Students for Fair Admissions' (SFFA) motion for summary judgment against the President and Fellows of Harvard College. SFFA’s motion documents Harvard’s racially motivated admissions policies and calls on the college to release admissions data and to adopt race-blind admissions policies.

“NAS supports the principle that students should be admitted to colleges on the basis of academic achievement, proven ability, ambition, and commitment to learning," said NAS President Peter Wood. "Racial identity should play no role in determining who should or should not be admitted, and the same standards should be applied to all individuals. Judgments about good character may be appropriate, but not when they serve as subterfuges to favor or disfavor whole categories of students.  Harvard is guilty of racially stereotyping Asian students as lacking ‘positive personality,’ likeability, courage, and kindness, and not being ‘widely respected.’ These are not true judgments of character, but ways of disguising an animus against Asian students."

The National Association of Scholars has opposed racial preferences in admissions policies since its founding in 1988. NAS members wrote the text of California Proposition 209, which made race-based admissions policies such as Harvard’s illegal in 1996. NAS previously urged legislation, not litigation, to end race-based preferences, and still desires such an outcome. Transparency in admissions policies is an important step toward that goal.

Wood noted: “By filing this amicus brief, we hope to throw the weight of evidence behind SFFA and sway the court toward transparency so that the public may decide if race-based admissions are for the greater good.”

NAS is a network of scholars and citizens united by a commitment to academic freedom, disinterested scholarship, and excellence in American higher education. Membership in NAS is open to all who share a commitment to these broad principles. NAS publishes a journal and has state and regional affiliates. Visit NAS at www.nas.org.

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If you would like more information about this issue, please call Chance Layton at 917-551-6770, or email [email protected].


Photo: By Joseph Williams - originally posted to Flickr as Harvard, CC-BY 2.0

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