Yup, Virginia Universities Discriminate Against Asians

What would Mr. Jefferson say?

by James A. Bacon

A study of five Virginia public universities shows that admission policies at all five institutions discriminate against Asian applicants after accounting for standardized test scores and high-school grade point averages. The University of Virginia and the College of William & Mary, the two most selective institutions, also discriminate against whites in favor of blacks and Hispanics.

Based on data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, Althea Nagai, a research fellow at the Center for Equal Opportunity, a right-of-center think tank, reached the following conclusions:

“At UVA and especially at WM, blacks were given substantial admissions preference over whites … (controlling for SAT scores, GPAs, gender, residence, and legacy). To a lesser extent, Hispanics also received preference over whites at these two schools. …

White applicants (along with blacks and Hispanics) were favored over Asian Americans at all five institutions. The other universities included in the study were Virginia Tech, James Madison University, and George Mason University.

The data shows that four institutions also favor legacies. (GMU does not collect data on legacies.) UVa and W&M, known nationally as “public ivies,” strongly favor in-state applications over out-of-state applications.

Admissions policies at Virginia’s public colleges and universities have long been a black box. Institutions juggle a wide range of factors, including in-state and out-of-state status, male-to-female ratios, legacies, and racial/ethnic diversity. This study, “Preferences in Virginia Higher Education,” is the first to systematically measure these variables.

The study was mainly interested in the role of race. In 2003 the U.S. Supreme ruled that race may be used as “a factor” in university admissions as long as it is narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling government interest such as achieving a racially diverse student body. However, explicit racial quotes remained unconstitutional, as did the use of race to make up for the injustice of slavery and discrimination against blacks.

“Despite claiming to be devoted to the growth and dissemination of knowledge,” writes Nagai, “many of America’s institutions of higher education have resisted scrutiny of admissions data that would lead to increased public knowledge of whether or how racial and ethnic preferences operate.” However, all five Virginia schools were “forthcoming and cooperative” in providing the admissions data, she wrote.

There are several ways to look at the data. One is the “admissions rate” — the percentage of applicants by race who were accepted to an institution. The differences in admission rates can be seen here:

The range of admission rates is relatively narrow, and shows no clear pattern. Indeed, at Tech, JMU and GMU, a higher percentage of white and Asian applicants are accepted than black and Hispanic applicants. However, this data does not account for the applicants’ academic credentials — SAT scores, ACT scores, grade point averages. Complicating the analysis is accounting for the generally superior qualifications of out-of-state applicants, which for political reasons, UVa and W&M are under heavy pressure to limit. Likewise, UVa and W&M are under the gun to achieve a measure of geographical diversity from around the state.

To simplify the analysis, Nagai excluded racial classifications with relatively small numbers, including American Indian, Native Alaskan Native Hawaiian, Other Polynesian Islander, bi-racial, unknown, and other. Then she compared SAT scores, ACT scores, and GPAs for the four main racial/ethnic groups based on 25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles. A 75th percentile means that 75% of that group were admitted with lower scores, 25% with higher scores.

In this chart, it can be seen that Asians admitted to UVa had the highest SAT scores, followed in order by whites, Hispanics and blacks. As Nagai concludes, “Given these test scores, UVA appears to have granted preferences to blacks and Hispanics over whites and Asian Americans. The black admittee median test score (1240) was … 240 points lower than the Asian American median (1480) and 200 points lower than the white median (1420).”

The data also suggest that UVa admitted whites over Asians, although the differential was smaller.

Click on thumbnail to see William & Mary SAT scores.

As an elite institution with leeway to be more selective with admissions, W&M followed the same pattern as UVa, giving the greatest preferential treatment to blacks, but also favoring Hispanics and whites over Asians.

 

 

 

Click on thumbnail to view Virginia Tech SAT scores.

Virginia Tech, also considered a “national” university, followed the same pattern, although the gaps in SAT scores were smaller.

 

 

 

 

Click on thumbnail to view George Mason University SAT scores.

George Mason, a less selective national university, followed the same broad pattern.

 

 

 

 

Click on thumbnail to view James Madison University SAT scores.

James Madison, classified as a “regional” institution, showed the smallest difference in SAT test scores between racial/ethnic groups. Indeed, the difference between blacks and Hispanics was virtually nil.

Using the statistical technique of logistic regression, Nagai calculated the the odds of admission for blacks, whites, Asians and Hispanics while holding their qualifications constant.

By this reckoning, UVa and W&M show a huge preference for blacks, a modest preference for Hispanics, and a preference of all other groups over Asians. The odds of Asians getting into W&M are particularly low.

JMU admissions appeared to be virtually color blind regarding blacks, whites and Hispanics, but Asians faced considerably longer odds of getting in. At GMU whites had better odds of being admitted than blacks and Hispanics — a curiosity that warrants closer examination because GMU, if I recall correctly, is the most ethnically diverse of all five institutions.

Bacon’s bottom line: The Center for Opportunity study draws no conclusions as to whether the admissions policies at the five institutions are justified or unjustified. But a pattern of discrimination in favor of blacks and Hispanics and against Asians seems pretty clear. If we adopt the logic of the social justice movement, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that Asians are being discriminated against in public university admission policies.

Here in Virginia, one can make the case that, given the history of slavery and segregation in the state, special consideration should be given to African-American descendants of slaves. It’s less clear that special consideration should be given to blacks of African or Caribbean origin or to Hispanics. It is difficult to think of any justification for discriminating against Asians, especially if they are in-state American citizens. (Chinese citizens, I’m less concerned about.)

Discrimination against Asian citizens by tax-supported public universities — especially the flagship institutions — is disgraceful and unforgivable. If Governor Ralph Northam is serious about fighting for “racial equity,” as he claims to be, perhaps he should get his new director of diversity, equity and inclusion to dig into anti-Asian discrimination at Virginia universities.

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27 responses to “Yup, Virginia Universities Discriminate Against Asians

  1. It goes without saying that not a single Virginia news outlet picked up on this study — at least nothing that made it into VA News. Here’s the question: Are Virginia’s dominant news outlets simply unaware of research from conservative think tanks, or do they deliberately ignore findings that don’t support their narratives?

    This study was is released yesterday at a National Press Club event. Was the Washington Post unaware that the event was being held? Or did the assignment editors just decide the subject matter was not of interest?

    I’ll be most interested to see if the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginian-Pilot, Daily News, or Roanoke Times pick up the story.

  2. “If Governor Ralph Northam is serious about fighting for “racial equity,” as he claims to be…”

    Is there any real reason to hypothesize about this? Or was it just a rhetorical flourish? 🙂

  3. It is also strongly apparent that at UVA that there is strong bias against admitting males. If one looks deeply into the numbers, I strongly suspect that one would find that anti male bias to be strongly canted against white and Asian males, and to be non existent as regards black and Hispanic males. I also suspect that anti-white male bias to be most particularly canted against disadvantaged white males, given UVA’s strong bias in favor of legacy kids, including those with affluent parents, and white kids generally whose parents can pay the full tuition so their monies can be spend on non-teaching activities that do not benefit those kids. This heavy bias is also driven by UVA’s heavy cultural prejudice against rural people and their culture.

    These exclusionary UVA biases against white males driving admissions policies also likely accounts in part for Liberty University’ success. And it is also why Liberty University is so much hated and scorned by progressive culture, particularly as it is manifest in elite culture, most obviously in elite higher education.

    • Much of the recent commentary on this blog is a highly relevant example of the growing intolerance spreading throughout this nation, and why the preservation of constitutional rights in America is critical now to build and insure a bulwark against a growing mob of bigots, and their single party party state. Hence my earlier commentary copied in below from Jim’s post Sept. 7 post “A dialogue on Money in Virginia Politics.”

      Here are portions of my comments below.

      “I don’t believe anyone has a right to know what my or anyone else’s political beliefs are. Nor do I believe anyone has a right to know how I express my political beliefs with money or otherwise. In today’s toxic political climate, with its partisan shame, smear, exile, and economic terrorist tactics, mandatory transparently requirements imposed on politically active voters cast a HUGE CHILL over their exercise of their constitutional rights.

      Today, and always in times past, such transparency laws can cost citizens their friends, their jobs, their livelihoods, their social and workaday lives, their privacy, even their right to live in a place, and vote with free will and unfettered choice. That is why their are curtains on voting booths. That is why there are privacy laws, laws against self incrimination, secret grand jury proceedings, and much needed rights to be left alone. Think about what’s going on inside Google, for one of endless examples.

      Plus these laws never work. The rich, the dishonest, and the ideologues always find work around ways and loopholes to exploit these laws, using high priced lawyers and tactics. Meanwhile, the honest get smeared, and loss their right to a fair and equal vote, for a candidate given an open field.

      Also, on a related topic, there are real non-profits in this world, and there are crony money making machines designed to grossly game the system for private advantage while disguised as non-profits. These we need to break-up and expose that latter that are robbing us and our government blind with the help of corrupt politicians. This include many functions of health care operators and universities for example, organization that are particularly prone to sucking money out of government treasuries at great public cost for the great private advantage of those who run them, at huge unnecessary cost to their customers too, including patients, students, and taxpayers.

      James A. Bacon | September 7, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Reply

      Reed, You raise a legitimate issue about protecting peoples’ privacy in a world where doxxing is now a thing. But what’s the alternative? Limit peoples’ right to participate by capping how much money they contribute? Doing nothing?
      Reed Fawell 3rd | September 7, 2019 at 4:38 pm |

      Jim – my knowledge of these laws now in place is quite thin. I would need to sit down and study the broad issues over a day or two in order to feel confident on even my own views as to where workable and productive changes to what is now on the books might be well advised.

      But as to your question, “Limit peoples’ right to participate by capping how much money they contribute?” I think that is quite reasonable as to contributions to the campaigns of particular candidates, whether directly or through conduits like political parties. I think that is reasonable because otherwise particular candidates in particular races too easily can get overwhelmed by rich donors giving to their opponents in order to destroy the effective and diverse views of the less well funded target who is depending on small local donors holding the same views as him or her. This is particularly true with national campaign contributions from outside the state targeting particular particular candidates inside some other state. So too, I also suspect bundling needs to be closely looked both as a practice and how it is deployed in campaigns. I suspect much unfair and ugly gaming of the electoral system might be found here as well. Voters inside the candidates district should have the right to chose their own candidate free of direct outside interference, rather than have their legitimate vote voided or destroyed altogether by rich self interested outsiders (of state) filling the coffers of their opponent candidates in state. But beyond these restrictions, I have grave doubts about curtailing the political process and its dialogue and process, and suspect the current laws might well be best we can hope for.

      Reed Fawell 3rd | September 8, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Reply

      “One day an invitation came to me, by word of mouth, to address an underground seminar in Prague. I accepted; as a result, I was brought into contact with people for whom the pursuit of knowledge and culture was not a dispensable luxury but a necessity. Nothing else could provide them with what they sought, which was an escape route from the world of lies by which they were surrounded. And by discussing the Western cultural heritage among themselves, they were marked out as heretics, who risked arrest and imprisonment merely for meeting as they did. Ironically, perhaps the greatest intellectual achievement of the Communist party was to convince people that Plato’s distinction between knowledge and opinion is a valid one, and that ideological opinion is not merely distinct from knowledge but the enemy of knowledge, the disease implanted in the human brain that makes it impossible to distinguish true ideas from false ones. That was the disease spread by the Party. And it was spread by Foucault, too. For it was Foucault who taught my colleagues to evaluate every idea, every argument, every institution, convention, or tradition in terms of the “domination” that it masks. Truth and falsehood had no real significance in Foucault’s world; all that mattered was power.

      These issues had been brought into sharp relief for the Czechs and Slovaks by ­Václav Havel’s essay “The Power of the Powerless” (1978), enjoining his compatriots to “live in truth.” How could they do that, if they were unable to distinguish the true from the false? And how could they distinguish the true from the false without the benefit of real culture and real knowledge? Hence the search for those things had become urgent. And the price of that search was high—harassment, arrest, deprivation of ordinary rights and privileges, and a life on the margins of society. When something has a high moral price, only committed people will pursue it. I therefore found, in the underground seminars, a unique student body—people dedicated to ­knowledge, as I understood it, and aware of the ease and the danger of replacing knowledge with mere opinion. Moreover, they were looking for knowledge in the place where it is most necessary and also hardest to find—in philosophy, history, art, and literature, in the places where critical understanding, rather than scientific method, is our only guide. And what was most interesting to me was the urgent desire among all my new students to inherit what had been handed down to them. They had been raised in a world where all forms of belonging, other than submission to the ruling Party, had been marginalized or denounced as crimes. They understood instinctively that a cultural heritage is precious, precisely because it offers a rite of passage into the thing that you truly are and the community of feeling that is yours.

      There was another winsome feature of the underground seminars, which is that their intellectual resources were so sparse. Academics in the West are obliged to publish articles and books if they are to advance in their careers, and in the years since the Second World War this had led to a proliferation of literature that, if not always second-rate from the intellectual point of view, has almost invariably been without literary merit—stodgy, cluttered with footnotes, without telling imagery or turns of phrase, and both ephemeral in content and impossible to ignore. The weight of this pseudo-literature oppresses both teachers and students in the humanities, and it is now all but impossible to unearth the classics that lie buried beneath it.

      I sometimes think that the greatest service to our culture was done by the person who set fire to the library at Alexandria, …” END Quote:

      For more of this wonderful article written by Roger Scruton in First Things (April, 2015) please go t0:

      https://www.firstthings.com/article/2015/04/the-end-of-the-university

  4. Speaking of “dark” money, who funds this group and do they do “studies” of anything beyond their Conservative viewpoint?

    The regular media does not cover this “study” because what it really is, is not a study but an agenda-based Conservative viewpoint.

    Many Universities if not most – attempt to enroll partially based on existing demographic population percentages rather than pure merit.

    There is strong disagreement between left and right on the merit versus demographics issue – worthy of discussion – and a legitimate study would include that aspect in their work but that’s not the purpose of this think tank which is opposed to policies of enrollment based on percentage population demographics.

    But who funds this group? where does it come from…and is that funding intended to influence public policy?

  5. https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Center_for_Equal_Opportunity

    A good summary on the group. Former Secretary Chavez is recognized as having a strong POV on the issue. The report’s credibility for me will largely hinge on whether the schools object that their data was distorted or misreported. If not, these are interesting results. Not at all unexpected. And in line with what the courts have allowed more than once. As “racial justice” measures go, affirmative action in admissions has always struck me as one that makes some sense, given the economic disparity today is tied to the opportunity disparity of past generations. No black WWII vets joined my Dad at Tech on the GI Bill, and that was a tragic lost opportunity.

    • basically they are an advocacy group promoting their point of view with a paper they are calling a “study”. This ‘think tank”is funded by Conservative donors who expect them to represent a Conservative philosophy on issues.

      It’s not a honest “study” and those that allude to it as a legitimate study are either deceived themselves or themselves complicit in pretending that it’s an unbiased “study”.

      It’s just more of the same stuff from the right purporting to be “objective” but really their point of view. They are not alone by any means, there are dozens of Conservative “think tanks” spewing out hundreds of “studies” which are little more than their point of view masquerading as a “study”.

      • Larry, it’s fine for you to point out the conservative biases of the Center for Equal Opportunity, and we should acknowledge that (as, in fact, I did in the post). But your assertion that “it’s not an honest study” has absolutely no basis in fact — certainly no fact that you have presented. Basically, your argument here is a smear. The study is funded by conservatives, you say, therefore, it is illegitimate.

        That is not an argument. That is LarryG plugging fingers into his ears and saying, la, la, la, la, I can’t hear you!

        I frequently criticize liberal and progressive studies. But I cite the flaws in their methodology, data, or thinking. If you want to have any credibility, you need to do the same.

    • re: ” As “racial justice” measures go, affirmative action in admissions has always struck me as one that makes some sense, given the economic disparity today is tied to the opportunity disparity of past generations. No black WWII vets joined my Dad at Tech on the GI Bill, and that was a tragic lost opportunity.”

      same here but you’re gonna find theres a bunch on the right who do not agree.

      I found this to be interesting:

      ” Slaves helped build Virginia Theological Seminary. The school will spend $1.7 million in reparations.”

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/09/10/virginia-theological-seminary-reparations-slavery/

      quite sure Bacon is “horrified”…. as well as outraged……….

  6. I’d be very interested in knowing how an applicant’s location within Virginia affects their odds of being accepted into “the Big 4”. It is an accepted opinion up here that it’s much harder to get in if you are from Northern Virginia. I don’t know if that is true or urban legend. The rumor holds that UVA uses class rank as a higher order measure because that lets them select a certain percentage from any high school. The rumor further holds that if they used SAT scores the number of students admitted from NoVa would skyrocket.

    • Yes, I agree. But this is all very complicated process given politics, inbuilt bias, personal influence, and phobia for ever more money, and rankings. But I’d bet my last dollar that the “disadvantaged white and Asian males” get screwed four ways to Sunday in far too many more selective colleges and universities in Virginia. Many academics and administrators in such elitist places don’t like these kids, where they come from, who they think the kids and their parents are.

  7. Larry, just because the study is from a group with a conservative point of view does not automatically discredit it. One should look at its methodology, assumptions, etc. in order to fairly critique it. That is beyond my skill set; I have never heard of “logistic regression”.

    What is not clear to me is whether and how these results factored in some of the nonquantitative measures Jim mentioned: in-state/out-0f-state; region of the state. As Don mentioned, the assumption (true or not) among a lot of people has been that there is an informal limit on the number of students from Northern Virginia who will be admitted at UVa. and (probably) W&M. After all, folks from Southside and Southwest Va. pay taxes too and they should be able to get some of their kids into the flagship schools. That factor may account for the “discrimination” against Asians, since there are probably a higher proportion of Asians in NOVA than in the rural areas. By the way, when I went to W&M, it was well known that the average SATs of females was higher than those of the males. This was largely because of the number of available beds (no co-ed dorms then). So, in effect, females were discriminated against.

    • No, Dick, they were just smarter than us…..

    • That was back in the Stone Age, Dick. Now the disparity beween male and female students in Higher Education scandalizes the conscience, particularly the differential between disadvantaged whites. But where is the affirmative action for all boys, including white boys? Does no one in authority give a damn, or can’t our elite educators see outside their own bias and bigot blinders, because they are having too much fun hate mongering and smearing Liberty University and those who attend, among others in places like Kansas?

      • Given what has been going on rampantly now for at lease a full decade, it seems plain that Virginia and its citizens must now confront several questions:

        Why should the Commonwealth of Virginia (and its taxpayers) subsidize public institutions of higher learning in the state that seek to undermine ACROSS THE BOARD (without perspective, scholarship, nuance, counterpoint, dignity or respect) the culture, heritage, history, and traditions of Virginia and its people? And why should it be allowed without challenge to poison the minds of Virginia students to accomplish those ends and objectives.

        Why should the Commonwealth of Virginia (and its taxpayers) subsidize public institutions of higher education in the state that actively seek to undermine private institutions of high education in the state that seek to teach, elaborate on, and hand down to students the culture, heritage, history, and traditions of Virginia and its people, and do so with perspective, scholarship, nuance, balance, dignity and respect, for all the people of Virginia?

        The risks here are rising on a steep curve. Is it not plain that the unfettered and monopolistic promotion of vicious and extreme culture, race, identity and ideological wars should have have no legitimate and uncontested place and/or privileged opportunity to thrive and spread that toxicity to Virginia students in the disguise of legitimate education and learning in any college or university in Virginia, whether that institution be public or private.

    • Dick – I agree . Just because a study is from a particular group that is political in nature as opposed to academic – does not automatically discount the legitimacy of the study – IF THEY DISCLOSE THAT THEY are indeed an interest group with a particular agenda.

      It’s when they proffer these studies as if they were done by someone or group who do not have a particular bias that happens to be aligned with the study and it’s conclusions.

      And when you say it’s not clear to you what other factors were considered or not – you are CORRECT – because the basic impetus of this so-called “study” is to deliver a preordained conclusion that affirms their particular view.

      When this is what is going on, I don’t consider the study truly objective and further calling it a “study” is basically an attempt to frame it as if it is credible and legitimate and they usually are anything but.

      those who promote such “studies” as if they are truly objective studies are basically engaging in misleading narratives intended to convince readers that such studies are legitimate.

      Finally, EVEN WHEN the authors of a given study are NOT associated with a particular interest group – there MAY be bias and such studies require other similar or associated studies to replicate findings.

      When a particular blog or source repeatedly touts such types of studies in a pattern – then I also discount that source as truly interested in objective data but instead looking for stuff to support their own views.

      That’s fine – they certainly are free to do that – free speech and all that but if they allow comments then it’s also fair game to call it out.

  8. “No, Dick, they were just smarter than us…..”

    Higher education in the U.S. is heading toward 60% female, 40% male. I for one welcome our new female overlords.

  9. Many Higher Ed (not all) in this country has traditionally sought to seek demographic balance as part of their admission process. It’s been no secret. Many openly disclose that fact – you don’t need a FOI to find out!

    Also true – there are a substantial number of people, mostly Conservatives but also some liberals who believe that admissions should be totally or largely merit-based.

    It’s a legitimate issue where Higher Ed is out-of-step with popular sentiment.

    And that FACT is actually reflected in credible polls :

    Now, you may notice that I have tried to fairly represent both sides here… I have not just advocated for one side and ignored the other.

    • Thank you for that data, Larry!

      There is a certain irony in the fact that Asians are most likely to say that race/ethnicity should be a major or minor factor in college admissions — and they are the ones who are the biggest losers of the practice.

  10. I don’t want to get bogged down on whether this is a conservative or liberal report, but there is an aspect to this that has gone unmentioned. I have no doubt there is discrimination against Asians in college admissions for the same reason there was a century ago against Jews. They are successful.

    If you recall, for years, colleges had formal or informal quotas against Jews, especially after the big migration of Eastern European Jews in the late 1880s and early 1900s. There apparently was less discrimination against German Jews because they “assimilated” to what was considered “American” more readily.

    The years of quota discrimination eventually one reason why standardized testing, such as SATs, came into being. That way, you could assess the brains, knowledge and potential of a prospective student without taking into account his or her race or background.

    And, there is a serious anti-Asian sentiment in the U.S. right now. The target is China. Part of it is understandable thanks to Xi Jinping’s authoritarian policies and China’s trade behavior.

    I noticed the anti-Chinese attitude when I went to Boston in May for a college reunion. It is hardly a hotbed of conservative thought, but I was taken aback when I spoke to people and learned of their fear of the Chinese, especially rich Chinese. My activities brought me into contact with people associated with a variety of the Boston area’s rich university universe. I heard concerns about Chinese buying naming rights with lots of money. There were concerns of growing Chinese control. There was resentment that Chinese were taking advantage of Boston’s rocketing real estate market. Supposedly, they were buying up new or remodeled condo buildings at choice locations on the Charles River and leaving some vacant – unless someone’s son or daughter got into MIT and wanted to live there. It was obvious they were parking money there to keep away from the Communist Party back home. There were concerns that this was leading to the forced flight of the middle class after they were priced out of housing. Same thing happened with the Russians in London.
    I do not think this plays out that much in Virginia except at prestigious schools like UVA or W&M. But I think it is a reason why there’s discrimination.

    • That’s an interesting theory about why there might be discrimination against Asians of Chinese citizenry. Entwined with that issue is the fact that Chinese students pay the full out-of-state tuition, hence are very profitable for higher-ed institutions.

      But “Asians” encompass also Americans of Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indian, Pakistani, Middle Eastern, Cambodian, and Taiwanese backgrounds.

  11. Yes, many subsets of these latter groups of Asians come from from a wide variety of ethic and disadvantaged backgrounds.

    Also as pointed out many times on blog: throughout American history, most all new groups of people coming to America have been heavy discriminated against of all sorts reasons, given the inbuilt tribal and clannish nature of human kind. For example, religious persecution started with Protestant versus Catholic, and with endless subsets of Christians alone – Puritan, Quaker, Calvinist, Mennonite, Lutheran, Baptist, Unitarian, Presbyterian, Mormons – you name it – and all these subsets were then again sliced, diced, graded, and hated, and discriminated by degrees according to nationality and race, where the came from, how they looked, acted, and behaved.

    So, for example, as recently as 1960, it was conventional belief that a Catholic could never be president, particularly the Irish. Now of course there is an ongoing jihad against Christians, and Christian belief and practice, and effort to ban public displays of Christian faith that would take us back to the horrible culture wars of the 16th and 17th century.

    This is a perennial plague of humankind.

  12. Put another way, Virginia’s public universities could likely fill 40% of each entering class with students of Asian ethnicity from high schools in northern Virginia–students who meet criteria for selectivity and who may or may not need financial aid. That wouldn’t fly for Commonwealth as whole. Rather than discrimination against this group, it’s possible that that the bias in Admissions is “they can go wherever they want.” William & Mary can feel better rejecting someone with merit knowing that they’ll have other options, leaving space for a great but not highest rated student coming from Buckingham County who may have fewer options.

  13. That possibility has to be considered. Put another way, perhaps the schools are discriminating against Northern Virginians — and Asians just happen to come disproportionately from Northern Virginia.

    There are ways to check that hypothesis. SCHEV publishes admittance data by locality.

  14. Residence is not a suspect classification under the Constitution. Race is. If a person who is black, white or Asian believes he/she is discriminated against in public college admissions because of her/his race, they can and should file a complaint.

  15. Should you want to know why the self importance of UVA president James E. Ryan is so great and so grand that he requires $10,000,000.00+ of other peoples’ money to renovate his house, then you should read today’s article in the Wall Street Journal that is titled “Higher Education’s Enemy Within.”

    The writer of this fine article knows what he is talking about. Judge José A. Cabranes now serves on the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He was Yale’s first general counsel, and he later served as a trustee of Yale, Columbia and Colgate universities.

    Now, in the Wall Street Journal, he tells us how “An army of nonfaculty staff push for action and social justice at the expense of free inquiry.”

    Here are a few extracts from that highly informative article:

    “American higher education seems to be in a permanent state of crisis. Almost monthly, a federal court has occasion to reprimand some college or university for improperly chilling speech, even as some students continue to complain that campuses are too friendly to the wrong kind of speakers. Many institutions have cut back on faculty hiring, even as the cost of tuition grows. Two basic, and mutually reinforcing, phenomena are behind the chaos on campus.

    First, colleges and universities have subordinated their historic mission of free inquiry to a new pursuit of social justice. Consider the remarkable evolution of Yale’s mission statement. For decades the university said its purpose was “to create, preserve, and disseminate knowledge.” … In 2016, however, Yale’s president announced a new mission statement, which no longer mentions knowledge. Instead, Yale is now officially “committed to improving the world” and educating “aspiring leaders”—not only through research, but also through “practice.”

    Second, American colleges and universities have been overwhelmed by a dangerous alliance of academic bureaucrats and student activists committed to imposing the latest social-justice diktats. This alliance has displaced the traditional governors of the university—the faculty. Indeed, nonfaculty administrators and activists are driving some of the most dangerous developments in university life, including the erosion of the due-process rights of faculty and students, efforts to regulate the “permissible limits” of classroom discussion, and the condemnation of unwelcome ideas as “hate speech.”

    How did the university lose its way? How did this new alliance of activists and administrators supplant the faculty?”

    For more of this very fine article see:
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/higher-educations-enemy-within-11573251941

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