An alliance of Asian American organizations have filed a joint complaint with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education.
With more than 60 Asian American organizations involved, this is the largest united effort by Asian Americans in the past 20 years, according to a press release from the coalition. Members of the coalition represent Chinese, Indian, Korean and Pakistani organizations, some of them from Massachusetts, the press release noted.
The coalition alleges what it considers a “growing inequality in college admission for Asian Americans,” according to the coalition’s press release. The press release noted that the number of Asian American applicants has doubled and their overall qualifications have improved for admissions to America’s elite universities.
Yet, the share of Asian students at Harvard peaked in 1993 at roughly 20 percent, according to the press release. The share has declined since then has remained between three and five percentage points lower, according to the release.
The coalition alleges that Harvard, and other Ivy League universities, have engaged in continuous discrimination against Asian Americans in the admissions process, which violates Title IV of the Civil Rights Act, the press release said.
In a statement, Harvard University’s General Counsel Robert Iuliano said that Harvard’s “admissions policies are fully compliant with the law and are essential to the pedagogical objectives that underlie its educational mission.” Iuliano further said, “We will vigorously defend the right of Harvard, and other universities, to continue to seek the educational benefits that come from a class that is diverse on multiple dimensions.”
The civil rights complaint against Harvard follows a federal lawsuit filed against Harvard in November by an organization representing high school students, alleging that the university’s admissions policies discriminate based on race and ethnicity, particularly related to Asian American applicants.
You can read Harvard’s full statement here.
via Boston Journal