Educational Leadership and Policy Faculty Contribute to Amicus Brief in Harvard Admissions Case

Sept. 11, 2018

Nine faculty members in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy signed on to an amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) brief that supports Harvard University’s admission process. The brief was submitted by 531 scholars from multiple disciplines who are experts in Asian-American studies, race, and college access. The brief was co-written by Associate Professor Liliana Garces, who studies college access and inclusion policies for marginalized populations in higher education.

A case filed by Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) claims that Harvard’s admissions intentionally discriminates against Asian American applicants.

The amicus curiae brief supports Harvard’s admission policies, claiming that the use of race-conscious whole-person review in college admission benefits Asian-American applicants because it treats each applicant as an individual and inhibits the influence of racial biases and assumptions.

NPR, CNN, the New York Times and Inside Higher Ed have covered the story and mentioned the brief, which can be read here.

On August 30, 2018, the Department of Justice sided with SFFA in their request for trial, claiming that Harvard has "failed to show that it does not unlawfully discriminate against Asian Americans."

The following faculty from The University of Texas at Austin submitted the amicus brief:

Department of Leadership and Policy Faculty

Beth Bukoski

Rebecca Callahan

Kevin Cokley

Liliana M. Garces

Jennifer Holme

Richard J. Reddick

Pedro Reyes

Victor Saenz

Betty Jeanne Taylor

Others from The University of Texas at Austin

Matthew Giani – Research scientist, Office of Strategy and Policy

Madeline Hsu - Director of the Center for Asian American Studies, Professor of History, College of Liberal Arts 

Eric Tang - Associate Professor in the African and African Diaspora Studies Department and faculty member in the Center for Asian American Studies, College of Liberal Arts 

Richard Valencia – Professor Emeritus, Center for Mexican American Studies, College of Liberal Arts