In October 2018, course proceedings involving the case of Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) v. Harvard University began. In an affirmative action case calling into question the methods and practices Harvard University uses when making admissions decisions, this story actually goes back to 2014 when the SFFA originally lodged their complaint. Up until now, most cases arguing that race has been an influential factor in determining one’s college admission have not truly challenged the foundation of affirmative action. Although closing arguments have concluded, a verdict may take months.
Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. In addition to the resources provided below, the deck contains discussion questions, an in-class activity, an online activity, and assessment questions.
Learning Objective 1: Describe and differentiate between institutionalized racism and individualistic racism in the context of higher education.
Learning Objective 2: Explain the benefits of diversity on college campuses among students, faculty, and staff.
Josh Gerstein, “At trial, Harvard officials explain rejecting alternatives to using race in admissions” (Politico, text)
“Harvard’s Secretive Admissions Process Unveiled in Court Documents” (The Wall Street Journal, video)
Adam Harris, “What the Harvard Trial Is Really About” (The Atlantic, text)
Joan Biskupic, “Is Harvard fair? Historic affirmative action trial begins Monday” (CNN, video/text)
Clare Lombardo, “Harvard Admissions Secrets Emerge; Defrauded Borrowers Can Now Seek Loan Forgiveness” (NPR, text)
“What’s Driving Some Asian-Americans To Challenge Affirmative Action?” (NPR, audio/text)
Daniel Golden, “Debate Over Affirmative Action Could be Disastrous for Legacy Students” (Pacific Standard, text)
Kirk Carapezza, “Closely-Watched Harvard Admissions Trial Comes To a Close” (NPR, audio/text)