Harvard Asian Discrimination Trial Day 7: Officials Reject ‘Race-Neutral’ Admissions

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In day six of the Harvard Asian-American discrimination trial, Harvard officials aggressively rejected the possibility of adopting a “race-neutral” admissions process.

On Tuesday, Harvard officials argued that it would be incredibly unlikely for the school to voluntarily adopt a “race-neutral” admissions process. Two top Harvard officials explained that they evaluated race-neutral admissions alternatives and realized that none would be compatible with the school’s “diversity-related” goals.

“We did not find any race-neutral alternative or combination of race-neutral alternatives that provided the same … diversity-related educational benefits,” Michael Smith, the former dean of Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences said. “We felt that no race-neutral alternative could substitute for our consideration of race as one consideration among many in our admissions.”

Although he admitted that race-neutral admissions processes often produce a similar breakdown of students with regards to race and ethnicity, Smith said such a change would drastically decrease the number of black students.

“This felt like a bridge too far,” Smith added. “We’re going backward from where we are. … There’s already a sense, as these committees have heard, of alienation and isolation interfering with these individuals’ ability to pursue their academic studies on our campus. Those impacts are already felt by individuals here. We’re not looking to make that worse.”

Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana was pressed again on Tuesday about the familial wealth of Harvard’s student body. “I think higher education is part of the solution to addressing issues of inequality and privilege,” Khurana said. “I wish we had a more equal society, though.”

Khurana also argued that a race-neutral admissions process might drop the African-American enrollment so low that black admits will begin to be viewed as “tokens.” Khurana was pressed by the plaintiff’s attorney to explain his ideal ethnic breakdown of the Harvard student body. “I don’t think there’s a quantitative number,” Khurana said, before arguing that admitting more minority students leads to the breaking of stereotypes.

Breitbart News has been extensively covering the Harvard Asian-American discrimination trial. You can read a recap of the trial’s first week of proceedings here.

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