Patterico's Pontifications

5/16/2019

Harvard University: Law Professor Defending Harvey Weinstein Will Be Relieved Of His Position As Faculty Dean

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:18 am



[guest post by Dana]

A noted Harvard law professor and faculty dean has paid a high price for acting on the fundamental tenet of the justice system that even a creep like Harvey Weinstein deserves representation and a vigorous defense:

Harvard said on Saturday that a law professor who has represented Harvey Weinstein would not continue as faculty dean of an undergraduate house after his term ends on June 30, bowing to months of pressure from students.

The professor, Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., and his wife, Stephanie Robinson, who is a lecturer at the law school, have been the faculty deans of Winthrop House, one of Harvard’s residential houses for undergraduate students, since 2009. They were the first African-American faculty deans in Harvard’s history.

But when Mr. Sullivan joined the defense team of Mr. Weinstein, the Hollywood producer, in January, many students expressed dismay, saying that his decision to represent a person accused of abusing women disqualified Mr. Sullivan from serving in a role of support and mentorship to students. Mr. Weinstein is scheduled to go to trial in September in Manhattan on rape and related charges.

The report makes several things clear: the need for a sudden “climate review” of Winthrop House was suspect, and that the dean of Harvard College has very little appetite for standing up to childish mobs:

As the protests continued, with graffiti aimed at Mr. Sullivan appearing on a university building, Harvard administrators said they would conduct what they called a climate review of Winthrop House. In recent weeks, tensions have escalated, with a student sit-in and a lawsuit sparked by a clash between one of the protest leaders and two Winthrop House staff members who were seen as supporting Mr. Sullivan.

On Saturday, the dean of Harvard College, Rakesh Khurana, sent an email to students and staff members at Winthrop House, informing them that he would not renew the appointments of Mr. Sullivan and Ms. Robinson as faculty deans after their terms end on June 30. Mr. Khurana said in his email that the decision was informed “by a number of considerations.”

“Over the last few weeks, students and staff have continued to communicate concerns about the climate in Winthrop House to the college,” he wrote. “The concerns expressed have been serious and numerous. The actions that have been taken to improve the climate have been ineffective, and the noticeable lack of faculty dean presence during critical moments has further deteriorated the climate in the house. I have concluded that the situation in the house is untenable.”

Sullivan, who announced this week that he has stepped down from representing Weinstein due to a scheduling conflict (but will be available for consultation), addressed the perceived conflict:

“My decision to represent Mr. Weinstein sparked considerable discussion and activism around issues of sexual violence, the appropriate role and responsibilities of Harvard and its faculty in addressing those issues, and the tension between protecting the rights of those criminally accused and validating the experience of those who are survivors of sexual violence. My representation of those accused of sexual assault does not speak to my personal views on any of these matters.”

Along with 52 colleagues who signed a letter in support of Sullivan, saying that “…represent[ing] an unpopular client was fully consistent with his roles as law professor and faculty dean,” Professor Randall Kennedy also wrote an op-ed that is worth reading in full:

The upshot is that Harvard College appears to have ratified the proposition that it is inappropriate for a faculty dean to defend a person reviled by a substantial number of students — a position that would disqualify a long list of stalwart defenders of civil liberties and civil rights, including Charles Hamilton Houston and Thurgood Marshall.

Student opposition to Mr. Sullivan has hinged on the idea of safety — that they would not feel safe confiding in Mr. Sullivan about matters having to do with sexual harassment or assault given his willingness to serve as a lawyer for Mr. Weinstein. Let’s assume the good faith of such declarations (though some are likely mere parroting). Even still, they should not be accepted simply because they represent sincere beliefs or feelings.

Suppose atheist students claimed that they did not feel “safe” confiding in a faculty dean who was an outspoken Christian or if conservative students claimed that they did not feel “safe” confiding in a faculty dean who was a prominent leftist. One would hope that university officials would say more than that they “take seriously” the concerns raised and fears expressed. One would hope that they would say that Harvard University defends — broadly — the right of people to express themselves aesthetically, ideologically, intellectually and professionally. One would hope that they would say that the acceptability of a faculty dean must rest upon the way in which he meets his duties, not on his personal beliefs or professional associations. One would hope, in short, that Harvard would seek to educate its students and not simply defer to vague apprehensions or pander to the imperatives of misguided rage.

That Khurana caved in his decision not only [mistakenly] validated student claims that Sullivan’s representation of Weinstein was “deeply trauma-inducing,” but also, ironically, caused students to lose out on an important teachable moment at one of our nation’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning. This especially as Khurana said in a recent interview when asked about Sullivan’s decision to represent Weinstein:

“I think a faculty member is given academic freedom to make decisions that are right for them,” Khurana said. “I also think that every individual is entitled to a vigorous defense. It’s a cornerstone of our justice system.”

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

56 Responses to “Harvard University: Law Professor Defending Harvey Weinstein Will Be Relieved Of His Position As Faculty Dean”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (779465)

  2. I guess to me the balancing question has to do with several things
    1. How important is it for the undergraduate resident to feel comfortable approaching faculty dean of house? I think this is a position that has some responsibilities along those lines but I’m not 100% sure.
    2. How significantly outside the norm is the behavior in question?
    3. What are the mitigating factors for the action that caused the complaint?
    4. How have other’s in the position been treated in the past?

    #1 I don’t know the answer to. But if that’s truly an important part of the job then participating in Weinstein’s may make it impossible for them to do their job effectively.
    #2 is pretty clear. Harvey was and is scum.
    #3 is debatable. The right to competent representation is vital and this is a good example of that. On the other hand Weinstein is rich and will have no trouble hiring lots and lots of lawyers. This isn’t the case where they took on an unfavorable client who needed their help for financial / other reasons.
    #4 I have no idea. But they’ve been there for 10 years so probably low turnover. I also don’t know if this means they need to find a new job, or just moved to a different position of similar level. I also don’t know if this is a position where seniority accrues or one with lot of turnover. It could easily be that not renewing the contract was going to happen anyway.
    The NYT article might have this info, but I can’t get past the pay wall.

    I can tell you that I personally don’t like the idea that if I were accused of a terrible crime I might not be able to find a good lawyer due social pressure on the lawyer.
    But I do emphasize with the needs of an organization to have ‘leader’ that’s seen as having moral authority.
    I think most of that is pretty un-objectionable. I think most of the fight is over the drive to push on what is considered ‘normal’

    Time123 (457a1d)

  3. Dana, cool post btw.

    Time123 (457a1d)

  4. Time123

    1. Depends on why they are approaching him, but so far I have heard nothing about people approaching him with claims of harrasment. I don’t think that is in his bailiwick.
    2. The “behavior in question” is not Weinstein but Sullivan, who is acting as a defense counsel (of some sort).
    3. Weinstein is certainly not poor, but for whatever reason he chose this lawyer. So he has some competence that is considered useful to a defense. (Just like in the OJ trial, Dershowitz was called in to consult on some issues.)
    4. The same lawyer represented a professional athlete in a double murder case. No one said boo. So the past precedent is certainly inconsistent.

    The bottom line is these students are immature babies. I fail to see how the fact that Sullivan is acting as Weinstein’s lawyer should make anyone “uncomfortable,” let alone feel “unsafe.” It’s all PC nonsense.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  5. Twerps. But isn’t that what a faculty dean does, in the first place? Mother-hen twerps? So shouldn’t they have one who is soft and cuddly and wipes their noses and kisses their booboos and doesn’t hang around with bad men?

    nk (dbc370)

  6. On days like this, I’m really pleased that none of my children attended Harvard.

    John B Boddie (66f464)

  7. This is one of the hallmarks of trying to make Critical Theory into practical policy: The loss of any faith in official impartiality. That the choice to represent an accused defendant does not, ipso facto, constitute condoning or endorsing the crimes named in the accusation is no longer believed or accepted.

    That no sustainable rule of law can be administered under such conditions is generally seen as a feature, not a bug.

    Stephen J. (308ea7)

  8. And these scabs are headed to the Cape for more boorish behavior.
    Stay away!

    mg (8cbc69)

  9. And pulling out of the case didn’t help him either.

    Me-Too trumps racial justice. but the need to have kind thoughts about the homeless and not smear them as a group trumps them both.

    Sammy Finkelman (3fda43)

  10. Me-Too, of course, also trumps “every person has a right to a lawyer; or, more accurately, “every lawyer has a right to take on any client without it reflecting on his values.”

    But what trumps even Me-Too is avoiding anything that will give comfort to people to hold invidious views about any category of people, if those views might be endorsed by government, and used to discriminate..

    Sammy Finkelman (3fda43)

  11. we have to sides now our side good your side evil. for many years liberals tried to be reasonable with conservatives and look for compromises as good government liberals do. such as crime bill and welfare reform even social security reform in the 1980’s the treatment of president obama and the rejection of hillary clinton’s outreach to republicans in 2016 discredited the compromisers and their corporate masters. As AOC and the left say with unreasonable republicans we will be unreasonable. you here that groper joe. you better.

    lany (574698)

  12. Shameful lack of commitment to principle on the part of the Harvard administration.

    We do see arguments like those of students coming from the right too though. It is not so uncommon to read that because so-and-so represented such-and-such, or even more tenuously, because their (huge) firm represented such-and-such, so-and-so somehow becomes a sinister link in some shadowy, Narciso-style conspiracy theory, without any further evidence necessary.

    (This is an old tradition – there were whispers about Alexander Hamilton being a closet royalist because after the revolution he represented Tories and British subjects trying to recover debts owed to them under the terms of the Treaty of Paris…)

    Dave (1bb933)

  13. If a faculty dean is essentially acting in loco parentis, then this reinforces the need to instruct young people who are clearly in need of it. After all, such parenting not only includes “creating a safe, fun, supportive environment in which students can pursue their collegiate ambitions,” but also growing in understanding and knowledge of the world around them, and its inner workings, which would include our legal justice system…which I hear is a pretty hot topic these days on college campuses.

    Dana (779465)

  14. Truly horrific that this occurred at a US law school. The little tyrant from the UK will make Harvard rue the day they admitted her. Or maybe not. Maybe this is the plan.

    I keep thinking: What is going on in the homes of these Ivy League students that they all claim to be fragile survivors of sexual and other abuse and so easily traumatized by the mere existence of an offender?

    Patricia (3363ec)

  15. #14 That is absolutely the smartest question I’ve seen raised on this blog in some time, and truly digs to the deepest depths of most of today’s societal issues.

    Brotherico (dfc953)

  16. Back in the day- long before ‘metoo’- when working on Hollywood projects, two stories made the rounds the first week and remained more or less axiomatic: 1. Weinstein was a letch but his firm bought a helluva lot of advertising- so send only the guys to Cannes yacht party and only the pretty female reps to the LA office- and make them aware accordingly. 2. Avoid Spacey at bars- he’d been known to hit on male staffers.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  17. There’s a reason To Kill a Mockingbird is required reading in any decent school. Apparently it needs to be required reading in graduate programs of elite universities.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  18. The dirty truth is that liberals are still ready to throw the book at black folk who transgress.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  19. The KKK would have thrown Atticus Finch out, too.

    nk (dbc370)

  20. @20. Trump on Finch: “He lost. He’s a loser. Roy Cohn won for me; he was a winner. And, no collusion!” 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  21. If the Harvard faculty had any backbone, nobody would agree to take the position as his replacement.

    Dave (1bb933)

  22. I have several different impulses.

    1. He’s a defense attorney, they defend people accused of breaking the law. It’s an honorable and necessary part of our legal system.

    2. He works for a highly visible private institution. Most of us have things we can’t do if we expect to keep our jobs. Most of us, for example, couldn’t moonlight for the porn industry.

    3. Would it be possible for him to make the kind of vigorous arguments he would need to make in the defense of an accused sex offender and still maintain the necessary trust of the students he would be working with as an authority figure. Would maintaining both positions be ethical?

    4. Harvard is probably not really listening to the students. It has probably occurred to them that retaining him as dean may leave them vulnerable to lawsuits.

    Nic (896fdf)

  23. Nic,

    The dean of Harvard College signed on to Sullivan’s decision to defend Weinstein, according to his interview in The Harvard Crimson. He expressed no objections, nor even serious concerns.

    I suspect that if Khurana offered a full-throated defense of Sullivan, reminding students of the basic tenets of our judicial system and the value of due process while holding the line, both students and Sullivan would have been OK.

    This is a valuable reminder:

    Next year, Boston will have the opportunity to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Boston Massacre. The victims in the confrontation and shooting outside the Boston Customs House have long been considered the first casualties of the American Revolution, and the fact that one of the fallen was an African American (Crispus Attucks) helped make the incident even more relevant in recent decades.

    However, one of the most important lessons of the massacre won’t get the same respect it did in the past: the importance of the right to counsel.

    When the British soldiers who had fired into the crowd on the night of March 5, 1770, were put on trial, it was John Adams — one of Boston’s top lawyers and a leading member of the Patriot political faction that had helped incite the protests against the government — who took their case. His successful defense of the most unpopular defendants in the colonies at the time was the moment when the future president entered history. And by choosing to face down the hostile mob of fellow Patriots organized by his cousin Sam Adams, he also stood for a principle — the right to effective counsel — that has become a hallmark of the American legal system.

    Dana (779465)

  24. Nic, your points are natural to raise, but actually they combine to answer themselves.

    Yes, he’s a defense attorney. Yes, he works for a major private university. Being involved in important cases is one way that he remains prominent and relevant in the legal profession, in the same way a scientist would conduct research or a humanist or artist would publish creative work. It is not just ethical, it is expected as part of the job. It makes him more valuable to Harvard.

    The institution of tenure was created to allow professors to pursue their scholarly duties without fear of retribution for advocating unpopular ideas or causes. There are only a few exceptions: pretty much anything that violates the law can get you fired, or “incompetence” (which can entail failure to meet expected standards of quality in teaching or research).

    I don’t know the rules at Harvard, but where I work the only complication would be if his time commitment to some legal case interfered with performance of his other duties as a faculty member. And in fact, he apparently resigned from Weinstein’s legal team when the trial was rescheduled for exactly that reason (I guess he originally expected the trial to happen over the summer). On the other hand, the letter announcing that he wouldn’t be reappointed cited “noticeable lack of faculty dean presence during critical moments” as one of the reasons, suggesting that maybe he didn’t maintain his other commitments as he should have.

    I don’t see how Harvard would be liable to any lawsuit as a result of his legal work. However one angle I haven’t seen mentioned is fund-raising. Although Harvard is filthy rich (their endowment is worth around $40B) they certainly still like to raise money, and their donors must include plenty of SJW types. I could imagine their being sensitive to negative reactions/publicity among that crowd much more than a group of students.

    Dave (1bb933)

  25. @ Patrcia,

    I keep thinking: What is going on in the homes of these Ivy League students that they all claim to be fragile survivors of sexual and other abuse and so easily traumatized by the mere existence of an offender?

    This, but I also keep thinking: Oh my gosh, alot of these privileged kids are going to be the next captains of industry, high-powered lawyers, lawmakers, power brokers, and controlling the levers of power.

    Dana (779465)

  26. Most of us have things we can’t do if we expect to keep our jobs.

    He hasn’t lost his job as a law professor, nor his wife as a lecturer. But both he and his wife hae lost, or will lose (they stay on until June 30) their positions as the faculty deans of Winthrop House, a position they have occupied now for 10 years. It is a paid position.

    Harvard is probably not really listening to the students. It has probably occurred to them that retaining him as dean may leave them vulnerable to lawsuits

    According to that New York Times article, there’s already a lawsuit coming out of this.

    There was some kind of a ‘clash’ (physical fight?) between one of the student anti-Sullivan-as-dean protest leaders and “two Winthrop House staff members who were seen as supporting Mr. Sullivan.”

    This is the heckler’s veto.

    Harvard will probably have to compensate the two deans financially as well.

    Sullivan withdrew from the Weinstein case, in a statement Monday May 7 announcing that the judge had approved his request, because he said, of the rescheduling of the trial to September, which would interfere with his teaching duties. If he hoped that would end it, it didn’t.

    He and his wife issued a statement after Harvard’s announcement saying: “We are surprised and dismayed by the action Harvard announced today. We believed the discussions we were having with high-level university representatives were progressing in a positive manner, but Harvard unilaterally ended those talks.” The protesters evidently smelled blood in the water, so to speak, and he was still tainted. And besides he said he would still remain available to Weinstein’s legal team for advice and consultation.

    Sammy Finkelman (3fda43)

  27. 25. Dave (1bb933) — 5/16/2019 @ 6:11 pm

    On the other hand, the letter announcing that he wouldn’t be reappointed cited “noticeable lack of faculty dean presence during critical moments” as one of the reasons, suggesting that maybe he didn’t maintain his other commitments as he should have.

    No, to me that means the protesters were’t letting him function. His presence would be disruptive.

    Sammy Finkelman (3fda43)

  28. Twerps teaching twerps.

    nk (dbc370)

  29. nk (dbc370) — 5/16/2019 @ 6:37 pm

    Ooh, can I play?

    Crooks defending crooks.

    Dave (1bb933)

  30. Yeah, I did marvel a little at sympathy for a lawyer in the comments.

    nk (dbc370)

  31. Yeah, I did marvel a little at sympathy for a lawyer in the comments.

    Don’t take it personally.

    Dave (1bb933)

  32. :)

    Dave (1bb933)

  33. The greatest lawyer of his generation, and a true “Lawyer’s Lawyer,” John W. Davis, whose law firm continues as Davis, Polk & Wardwell, argued 140 cases before the United States Supreme Court. Except by law geeks and those connected with the firm he founded, he’s mostly remembered now just for one particular SCOTUS argument, a case he lost, in which he represented the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, against Mr. Oliver Brown, a black man whose daughter wanted to go to the same schools as did the white children.

    Asked afterwards by friends and supporters of the Brown family whether he thought lawyer Davis ought be ashamed of himself for representing the cause of segregation under “separate but equal,” the Brown family’s lead lawyer, Thurgood Marshall, vehemently rejected that notion. He said something to the effect that the most important cases to the nation must have the very best of lawyers on both sides — for only thus could it be, and be seen by the public to be, the adversary system working at its best and most effective, with diligent and capable advocates battling for their clients vigorously within the bounds of the law and the canons of ethics. This, Marshall avowed, Davis had always done, for the Topeka School Board no less than any client.

    And the Brown family’s victory therefore, concluded Marshall, was all the sweeter and more legitimate for having had to overcome the talents of John W. Davis, the greatest lawyer of his generation, to reach its just conclusion.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  34. “Let them hate provided they also fear” is my professional slogan.

    nk (dbc370)

  35. Another lawyer’s lawyer, albeit of the law professor type, was Charles Alan Wright from Texas Law School, who was among the preeminent constitutional law scholars in the country when he undertook to defend Richard M. Nixon in the tapes case, for much the same reason that Davis defended the Topeka School Board: It was a damned important case, and both sides needed superlative counsel. Like Davis in Brown, Wright lost in U.S. v. Nixon. Once again, the justified reputation of the lawyers on both sides (with the government represented by Leon Jaworski, another Texan) added credibility to the result.

    I didn’t have Prof. Wright for constitutional law at Texas when I was a student there in the late 1970s, but I did lightly edit a book review he contributed to the Texas Law Review, an undertaking in which he taught me, and others, some very humbling lessons.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  36. This is a subject I know a great deal about. I wish I did not.

    The first issue has to do with what we have spent decades encouraging in the minds of young people. Lukianoff and Haidt have written a book on this topic. Here is a primer.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356/

    Their website:

    https://www.thecoddling.com/

    Short version: too many students now believe that (i) What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker, (ii) Always trust your feelings, and (iii) Life is a battle between good people and evil people. Teaching people to agree with these paradigms seems to lead to greater depression and anxiety…apart from the pernicious impact on society.

    Add to this the utter and complete fecklessness of administrators, and there you go. As people saw with Kavanaugh, individuals can make uncorroborated accusations that can destroy careers. Due process on campus is, ahem, lacking.

    Finally, there is the selectivity with which this kind of nonsense is applied. Sullivan has a history of “not getting along,” and this is critical in this witch hunt. Remember, this did cost he and his wife money. If Sullivan was popular, this would have all been swept under the rug.

    Friends, this is the tip of the academic iceberg. It will get worse before it gets better.

    I recommend this book: “Cracks in the Ivory Tower,” by Brennan and Magness.

    Here is a podcast about it: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/124-cracks-in-ivory-tower-conversation-phil-magness/id951235235?i=1000437811124

    Sorry to sound negative.

    Simon Jester (b079bd)

  37. Remember, this did cost he and his wife money. If Sullivan was popular, this would have all been swept under the rug.

    Frankly it sounds like a service job that you only do because you enjoy the close contact with students outside the classroom. Maybe it is a financial windfall – it sounds like a lot of administrative work, so it might have to be to get people to do it. It may also entail reduced classroom teaching, which could be an attractive trade-off for some.

    In any case, the guy has been doing it for a long time – nine years. Our deans don’t have this residential responsibility, but I think 10 years (5 year initial term + one renewal) is the longest anyone can hold a deanship where I work.

    Dave (1bb933)

  38. Dear Dave, I hate to be critical, but that is one of the attitudes that allows this kind of thing.

    It’s quite similar to me telling a student, well, I won’t write you a strong letter of recommendation, but you’ll still get in somewhere.

    There was a financial cost here, based solely on student “feelings.”

    And those are, um, not directly connected to reality in many cases.

    The principle is important here: the administration caved on an issue that, on the surface, is relevant to academic freedom….not to mention the cornerstone of how our legal system is supposed to work.

    But feelings uber alles.

    Simon Jester (b079bd)

  39. Sounds like the free market struck academia, at least in the rare instance of Mr. Sullivan.

    Any legal staff at my employer who would represent Weinstein would be tossed out on their ear before the SJW employee posse even caught wind of it. Welcome to the real world.

    Munroe (5bb9c3)

  40. The principle is important here: the administration caved on an issue that, on the surface, is relevant to academic freedom….not to mention the cornerstone of how our legal system is supposed to work.

    Oh, I agree entirely.

    I’m just saying, the guy was a glorified residence hall director.

    Dave (1bb933)

  41. @24 If Harvard had stood behind him, they probably could have addressed 2 of the thoughts I was having about why they might not have kept him, obviously they would have stood on thought 1 to do it. It still doesn’t really address my 3rd point, but should have been more of his internal thought process on what was going on and, perhaps, a discussion he should have had with the school once the students raised their concerns.

    @25 I imagine they thought more about the publicity than the possible backlash at the beginning and once they realized the publicity they were getting was negative, that’s what caused them to back off. I hadn’t considered the fund raising aspect, but money definitely talks.

    @37 Some of the concerning attitudes that I run into at the secondary school level are:

    There always has to be someone to blame. If a kid falls and hits his head while throwing a football at lunch, suddenly the kid throwing the football must be to blame or the fact that blacktop/grass exists makes the school at fault.

    It’s never their kid’s fault. If something has happened, it’s someone else’s fault. If the kid was absent for 3 days and they never made up the work, it’s the teacher’s fault for not chasing them down. If they were rude, it’s because they felt disrespected and it’s the staff’s fault for giving directions or not understanding immediately that the kid was upset about something else entirely which makes swearing at a staff member OK. If they hit another student, well, the other student shouldn’t have talked about them.

    Every negative interaction is bullying. Bullying is someone said a rude thing to their student once. Bullying is two kids trash talking each other. Their teacher is bullying them when he’s giving them a direction to sit and pay attention and they should do that instead of constantly arguing.

    Everything must be the most interesting thing on earth every moment of the day. If math is not enthralling every moment of the day, how can we expect their kid to pay attention and learn.

    Kids must be rescued from consequences all the time. Kid has an F from not doing any work, parent must rescue them and school is rude because student earned an F. Kid hits another kid, can’t possibly go on their discipline record, not for their angel, clearly it’s the other student’s fault. Kid didn’t turn in a permission slip, we must move heaven and earth and make the bus and all 100 other students wait while mom/dad faxes/brings permission slip. No consequences should be given, ever.

    Drives me crazy. I have some retired military parents who are my favorite parents. They don’t spend a lot of time making excuses and they expect their kid to shape up. And their kids do.

    Nic (896fdf)

  42. They’ve gone totally bonkers:

    “Today, it was reported that the SATs are adding an “adversity score” to help colleges and university account for the various educational and socioeconomic factors that may negatively impact students’ scores. “Colleges have long been concerned with scoring patterns on the SAT that seem unfavorable to certain racial and economic groups,” explained the New York Times. “Higher scores have been found to correlate with the student coming from a higher-income family, having better-educated parents, and being white or Asian rather than black or Hispanic.””

    https://pjmedia.com/trending/killing-education-sats-to-add-adversity-score-to-address-wealth-disparity-in-results/

    harkin (1aa46f)

  43. I…. don’t know how they’d verify that. Even at title 1 schools there are often kids from better off neighborhoods and in CA you can attend better school in your district or even sometimes in another district.

    Nic (896fdf)

  44. Dam’ world got too dam’ many problems for me to handle in one day. I’m going to sleep.

    nk (dbc370)

  45. John W. Davis

    A former presidential candidate, too. He should not be ashamed of taking the Brown case, but he should be ashamed of supporting segregation, which is why he took the case.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  46. harkin,

    It’s a separate number unrelated to the SAT itself. Given that colleges already give points on admission for adversity, this provides a standardized measure. They claim that “race” is not part of the calculation, although high school attended, address of residence and GKW other factors are. Perhaps there will be a questionnaire, although the temptation to tick off the right boxes would be overwhelming.

    This could be a good thing if it stops purely racial decisions, or a bad thing if it’s wildly inaccurate.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  47. Ah, sleep, the great restorer.

    I don’t think the student twerps are sensitive and fragile. I think they’re spoiled and nasty. Also petulant and hateful. They found a chance to hurt a couple of people, and they took it.

    Nonetheless, as Pete Buttigieg would say, they are only what their Creator made them. The real problem is the administration and faculty twerps. They are the big sissy slicked-up verpy foopter boys for not telling the student twerps: “This is the school we have, these are the faculty deans we have. If you don’t like it, get out. If you disturb the peace of the campus, we will throw you out.”

    nk (dbc370)

  48. Twerpwaffles!

    nk (dbc370)

  49. Nonetheless, as Pete Buttigieg would say, they are only what their Creator made them.

    There’s a saying that God must love poor people because he made so many of them. If that’s true, then God must really love petulant, hateful twerps.

    Chuck Bartowski (bc1c71)

  50. “If you disturb the peace of the campus, we will throw you out…”

    “… keep your parents’ money, and admit one of the better-qualified and more pliant Asians whose applications we red-lined in favor of yours.”

    Dave (1bb933)

  51. Dear nk:

    You wrote:

    “I don’t think the student twerps are sensitive and fragile. I think they’re spoiled and nasty. Also petulant and hateful. They found a chance to hurt a couple of people, and they took it.”

    I completely agree, having some scars to prove it. The problem, I think, is that most students don’t want to stand up and respond to a vocal and politically active minority (after all, their concerns are about graduating, not posturing). The result? A bunch of students—and therefore gutless administrators—who think that bowing to such pressure is a good thing. Or at least less painful.

    And rewarded behaviors increase.

    So there we are. The former President where I used to work put it best: “Some people would rather have a cause than an effect.”

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  52. I fear the same thing, Dana…these are our future leaders! Well, they will be following in the current crop that tells us to stay in our homes and cower as criminals roam the streets and coyotes and other critters kill our pets.

    Patricia (3363ec)

  53. Off-topic but sincere: Thanks to all of you who recommended “A Gentleman in Moscow” on the recent books post. I’m reading it now, and by the time I got to the window the size of a postage-stamp, I was thoroughly in its spell.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  54. I recommended it Beldar. I’m so glad you too are captivated by its brilliance. Would love to talk about it when you’ve finished it. Meanwhile, I’ll just zip my lips.

    Dana (779465)

  55. I owe you, Dana. Yes, let’s, when I’m done. 😀

    Beldar (fa637a)


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