Wednesday, November 09, 2005

University of Washingon Admissions End Run I200?

Arthur Hu, My name is Austin Haskell; I'm a reporter for Real Change
in Seattle. I was wondering if you had any opinion on the University
of Washington's new system for reviewing applications. I know many
strong I-200 supporters believe it is intentionally using race and
ethnicity to determine admissions, so I was wondering if you could
give me you opinion on it. My e-mail address is Ahaskell04

Austin Haskell
Real Change

Thank you for asking. You might know that I was the one that took
complaints from Asian students about alleged quotas in the 80s and
found out that Asians were squeezed at UC when they attempted to raise
minorities without reducing whites, with Asians suffering the only
losses. That evolved to U California realizing they got more political
points for reducing Whites eventually to even fewer than Asians and
embracing a goofy numerical notion of "diversity" of just the right
number of blacks and Hispanics, too many Asians and a tiny minority of
whites, a mix that would have qualified for the federal definition of
"segregation" in the 60s.

I200 has been pretty much a joke in UW admissions as numbers of
minorities have been about as high as they've ever been. After I200,
Seattle schools came up with 3 finalists to replace John Stanford that
were 3 black women, which is like a slot machine odds when each black
woman represents only 5% of the national population ( and she was
driven out in disgrace)

After Elaine Kim wrote in the PI that the level of diversity was "not
acceptable", analysis shows that relative to state population, blacks
are 1.37 times BETTER represented than whites, and whites are 1.53
(35% less) times LESS than their population. The only over-represented
group are the Asians, at either 5 times their population, or 8 times
better represented than whites.

U Wash freshmen vs state population
UW state vs pop vs white
afam 2.85 3.2 -1.12 1.37
amind .92 1.7 -1.84 -1.20
hisp 4.34 5.8 -1.33 1.15
asian 29.38 5.8 5.00 7.65 96
pi .86
white 54.01 83.9 -1.53 1.00
none 5.14
intl 2.49

In 1997, UW law school admitted 42% minority in a state that is less
than 15% minority, which shows their priorities, though I have not
checked on law and medical schools since. I believe the UW is one of
the schools that granted preferences to Asian in law school, which is
consistent with fewer Asian practicing lawyers, except that Asians are
already over-represented as law school students

I don't know the details of the "extended reading" which sounds a lot
like how they score the WASL test now, which is a real disaster. This
is how U Michigan met their quotas when readers were told how close
they were to meeting their "goals" and how many more people they
needed to pass to get there.

There are two major problems I have with affirmative action. The first
is that the law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, but all
"diversity" means is implementing racial quotas and preferences to
"match the population" and hand out equal outcomes by affinity group.
If that's what you want to do, then just freaking say so and do it.

The second is that the UC Berkeley definition of "diversity" is just
crazy if you just want the correct number of blacks and Hispanics, and
ignore everybody else. Asians in CA have already reached, and are
approaching in WA the point where we're going to take 40-50% of the
most select university spots. Asians and Jews together are 50% or more
of most elite universities, which simply does not allow enough spots
for everybody else to get their full share. The remainder could be
split evenly among everybody else, but as what happened when everybody
but Asians were protected, when you have Blacks and Hispanics, but not
Whites protected from competition with Asians, you'll get the numbers
you see today, with Whites starting to be squeezed out, while other
minorities are effectively guaranteed their full shares.

The response in Malaysia was to have quotas for Chinese and Indians to
protect ethnic Malayans, but even they abandoned that.

I think that rather than trying to compromise between diversity and
merit, we simply banish "diversity" as a goal in and of itself. I
think we can certainly go beyond strict academics, and that will lower
barriers for some groups, but it should be without regard to race,
gender, or ethnicity, and restricted to advertising and recruiting to
communities the same way companies like GM Ford and IBM do some
targeted advertising to address affinity groups. I don't have a
problem with "measuring" diversity as long as it doesn't lead to
enforcing or defining any set of numbers as right or wrong based on
population proportionality.

Arthur Hu