Harvard Asian Discrimination Trial Day 9: Duke Economist Condemns Affirmative Action

The Associated Press
Elise Amendola/AP

In day nine of the Harvard Asian-American discrimination trial, Duke economist Peter S. Arcidiacono offered some thoughts about affirmative action at the Ivy League institution.

Duke economist Peter S. Arcidiacono took the witness stand Thursday. Arcidiacono is serving as an expert witness for the plaintiff, an activist group called the Students for Fair Admissions.

“I think the evidence is quite compelling that there is a penalty against Asian-American applicants,” Arcidiacono said on the witness stand on Thursday.

Arcidiacono submitted a report to the court in June after he looked through Harvard’s admissions data. In the report, which mirrors his Thursday testimony, Arcidiacono points out that Harvard has no justification for the low “personal rating” scores that were given to many Asian-American applicants.

But there is no observable reason why this should be so; the testimony from officers and leaders of the Admissions Office is that there is nothing about Asian Americans as a group that would suggest they have less attractive personal qualities. Ratings given by alumni interviewers do not show this pattern. Alumni interviewers score 5 Asian Americans score worse than all other groups on the Athletic Rating. However, this rating has little impact on admissions outside of recruited athletes. Asian-American applicants score higher than African-American and Hispanic applicants; a result consistent with those who score higher on academics also having stronger personal qualities.

In another section of the report, Arcidiacono laid out just how disadvantaged Asian-American applicants are when it comes to the Harvard Admissions process.

An Asian-American applicant who was male, who was not disadvantaged, and whose characteristics result in a 25% chance of admission would have more than a 36% chance of admission if treated as a white applicant; more than a 75% chance of admission if treated as a Hispanic applicant; and more than a 95% chance of admission if treated as an African-American applicant (with all other characteristics unchanged).

Arcidiacono will take the stand again on Friday. Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more updates on the trial.

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