Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Citing Racial Strife, Students at Wealthy Colleges Demand Reparations

Jennifer Kabbany
April 24, 2017

Students who attend a wealthy and elite cluster of schools in Southern California are demanding various forms of reparations, citing racial strife and other injustices they allegedly face.

Various student factions at the private consortium  — which costs an average of more than $50,000 annually — have lodged demands to make right ills they claim to face at the “5Cs” as its known among students, consisting of Pomona, Scripps, Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd and Pitzer colleges.

Read full story here.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Unesco recommends affirmative action admissions policies

Ellie Bothwell
April 20, 2017

Universities across the globe should introduce affirmative action admissions policies to widen access for disadvantaged students, according to a new policy paper from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

Unesco also calls for governments to cap student loan repayments at 15 per cent of graduates’ monthly earnings, but it rejects policies granting free tuition for all students, claiming that one-size-fits-all programmes have been proven to discriminate against poor students.

Read full story here.

Equal Pay: New York City Council Passes Ban on Salary History Inquiries

Brian J. Turoff and David A. Katz
April 18, 2017

In November 2016, New York City enacted legislation prohibiting City agencies from inquiring into job applicants' salary history. On April 5, 2017, the New York City Council expanded the above-noted protections, overwhelmingly passing a bill prohibiting nearly all employers – including private sector employers – from inquiring into applicants' salary history. Reasoning that basing a salary offer on a prospective employee's prior salary can perpetuate unwarranted earnings imbalances between male and female employees, the new legislation seeks to combat systemic, gender-based wage disparities. If signed by Mayor de Blasio – which is widely expected – the law will go into effect six months from the date of signing.

In complying with this expected new law, employers must be mindful of the distinction between prohibited inquiries and permissible avenues of salary discussion. Specifically, employers would still be permitted to set forth a proposed salary for a given position and discuss that proposal with a prospective employee. Employers would also be permitted to inquire as to what a prospective employee hopes to earn should he or she receive a job offer. Finally, should an applicant voluntarily disclose his or her prior salary without any prompting or coercion, an employer may take this information into account in subsequent salary discussions. Notably, with limited exceptions, the anticipated new law also prohibits nearly all discussion of an applicant's prior benefits and other forms of compensation.

Read full story here.

17 Attorneys General Say Trump Travel Ban Harms Universities, Medical Institutions, Tourism

Phil Helsel
April 19, 2017

The attorneys general of 16 states and the District of Columbia on Wednesday filed a brief asking the 4th U.S. Court of Appeals to uphold a ruling that blocked a major part of President Donald Trump's so-called "travel ban."

The attorneys general argue Trump's revised executive order would negatively impact universities and medical institutions, has a depressing effect on tourism — causing lost tax revenue — and amounts to an anti-Muslim order.

Read full story on NBC.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

For USF Professor, Diversity Key for Best Public Policy

Christina Sturdivant
April 18, 2017


As a tenured professor at the University of San Francisco (USF), Dr. Richard Greggory Johnson III brings to the classroom an exemplary academic, professional and personal history that has shaped his passion for public policy, social equity and human rights.

His road to a career in higher education began as a child in the Bronx.

“I grew up with a great sense of education, not only from my parents but also from my older cousins who were ahead of me in school and most of whom went to college as well. It was family dynamic,” he says.

Read full story here.

Rights Advocates: Jackson a Troubling Choice for Acting Head of Office of Civil Rights

Jamaal Abdul-Alim
April 18, 2017



The person that U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recently put in charge of her agency’s Office of Civil Rights is drawing a chorus of criticism from civil rights advocates and scholars over her historical hostility to racial preferences and other ideological stances — including having once complained that she was discriminated against for being White.

The Department of Education announced last week that attorney Candice Jackson had been appointed by DeVos as deputy assistant secretary in the Office for Civil Rights, as well as acting assistant secretary.

Read full story here.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

White Supremacy From Students?

A new group at Auburn University has dubbed itself the Auburn White Student Union, though it's not affiliated with the institution.

Jeremy Bauer-Wolf  
April 13, 2017

A white nationalist group that initially claimed affiliation with Auburn University has prompted condemnation from officials there.

The controversy surrounding the Auburn White Student Union represents the continued rise of white supremacist activities on university campuses, intensified by the contemporary political landscape.

Read full story on Inside Higher Ed. 

The (Temporary?) U.S. Education Team

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos makes first official announcement of key aides, many of them in acting capacities and including some controversial choices.

Andrew Kreighbaum  
April 13, 2017

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the hiring of nine senior staff members Wednesday, including an acting under secretary with significant experience working on student aid and postsecondary issues.

The hiring of most of the individuals in the announcement had previously been discussed publicly, but it was the first official announcement from DeVos about who would fill key staff positions. Like other federal agencies in the Trump administration, the Department of Education has gone nearly three months without naming appointees to a number of political positions.

Read full story on Inside Higher Ed. 

Latina Accepted By 11 Med Schools Has A Message For Those Who Credit Affirmative Action

“I am proud of my background and ... of what I have overcome to get here.”

Carolina Moreno
April 11, 2017

All Chelsea Batista wanted was to get into one of the 18 medical schools she applied to. Instead, she got into 11. 

“I was absolutely surprised,” the 21-year-old senior at Macaulay Honors College at Brooklyn College told The Huffington Post via email. “When I received my first acceptance, I was golden. When more acceptances started coming in, I was astounded.”

Read full story here

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Trump's economy team is missing two big pieces

Jill Disis
April 10, 2017


President Trump has been in office nearly three months, but he's still missing two key members of his economic team.

Robert Lighthizer, the nominee for U.S. trade representative, and Alexander Acosta, Trump's pick for labor secretary, have yet to advance to the full Senate for confirmation votes.

They will remain in limbo for at least two more weeks. Congress is in recess until April 24. Both are widely expected to be confirmed, but it's not clear when.

Read full story on CNN.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Fighting Hate In Schools

Tovia Smith
April 5, 2017

Hate incidents can happen anywhere: the mall, the church, the office. But, in the wake of the 2016 election, hate's been showing up a lot in school.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, in the months following the election more hate incidents took place in America's schools than anywhere else. Hundreds of elementary, middle and high schools have played host to an array of troubling events, from sophomoric stunts to much worse: a hijab pulled off a Muslim student, physical fights with racial epithets flung, even violent threats.

Educators in Massachusetts, as elsewhere, are struggling with what to do.

Read full story on NPR.

Princeton Sues the Federal Government to Protect Admissions Data

Austin Elias-De Jesus
April 7, 2017


Princeton University–the prestigious Ivy League institution whose famous alumni include Woodrow Wilson, Michelle Obama, and Queen of Genovia Amelia Mignonette Thermopolis Renaldi–is suing the Department of Education in an attempt to block the release of its admissions data through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), according to Buzzfeed News.

The lawsuit is an attempt to hinder the anti-affirmative action organization Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), a nonprofit whose mission is to remove race-based college admissions standards and is accusing Princeton of practicing anti-Asian bias in its admissions. The organization seeks to use a FOIA request to prove its accusations by releasing documents that Princeton gave to the DOE during a long investigation by the department’s Office for Civil Rights into anti-Asian discrimination that concluded in 2015. The investigation determined that this bias did not exist.

Read full story here

DAAP presidential candidate Richard Alvarado hopes to increase diversity

Shayann Hendricks
April 7, 2017

At many times in his life, Richard Alvarado has faced — and overcome — adversity.

Alvarado has been working since he was 15 years old, struggled with mental illness and encountered temporary homelessness. For most of his childhood in the Bay Area, his parents and extended family faced the threat of deportation.

Having experienced these hardships, Alvarado is running for ASUC president, hoping to provide equal opportunity to students and to mobilize the campus against President Donald Trump. He is running with the Defend Affirmative Action Party, or DAAP, which also endeavors to increase diversity on campus — a goal that Alvarado cites as a top priority of his in his campaign for the presidential seat.

Read full story here.

Medical school affirmative action helps reduce racial health disparities

Jack Siglin
April 6, 2017


Health — that thing we take for granted but probably shouldn't — is vitally important. Like so many other things, though, it isn't distributed equitably. Race and socioeconomic status have a lot of predictive power when it comes to peoples' health. Some of the explanation stems from an unlikely place — U.S. physician population demographics.

Let's start with some facts. Medical school graduates from 1978 to 2008 — a good approximation of the U.S. physician workforce — are about 75 percent white, 13 percent Asian, 5 percent Latino and 6 percent black. The U.S. as a whole is about 77 percent white, 6 percent Asian, 18 percent Latino and 14 percent black. Another way to frame the data: About 18 out of every 100 who matriculate at medical school identify as students of color. That's far less than the general proportion of the population.

Read full story here.

Editorial: UVa's affirmative action for rich people

Apr 6, 2017


The University of Virginia would like to know who you’re gonna believe: the school, or your lyin’ eyes?

Records from the school show the advancement office — that’s the fundraising arm of the university — kept track of children of donors who had applied to the school, and tried to get those on the “watch list” admitted or wait-listed. The school claims its admissions office makes its decisions independently.

Maybe so. But that would suggest that fundraising staff are just beating their heads against a brick wall. If the admissions office is hermetically sealed off from outside influence, then why do other U.Va. officials keep trying to influence it?

Read full story here.