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U. Pittsburgh Removes Program Director Over Mild Criticism of Affirmative Action in Paper

U. Pittsburgh Removes Program Director Over Mild Criticism of Affirmative Action in Paper

“This violated the First Amendment, which protects even harsh criticism of affirmative action.”

There are some things that no one is allowed to criticize. The left punishes all perceived heretics.

CNS News reports:

University Removes Director Who Mildly Criticized Affirmative Action, Violating Free Speech

The University of Pittsburgh has removed a program director at its medical center after he published a scholarly, peer-reviewed white paper discussing the pitfalls of affirmative action for black and Hispanic students.

This violated the First Amendment, which protects even harsh criticism of affirmative action.

The white paper was gentle in its criticism of racial preferences, merely arguing that lowering admissions standards for minorities can harm their prospect of academic success by putting them in a university they are not prepared to handle. It did not advocate discrimination against any minority group.

As MedPage Today reports:

“A paper advocating against affirmative action in cardiology programs is melting under a blast of Twitter heat.

Published in the Journal of the American Heart Association as a self-styled “white paper,” it included the following statements:

‘Racial and ethnic preferences at both the undergraduate and professional school levels for blacks and Hispanics result in relatively weak academic starting positions in classes. This has been postulated to lead to poor performance through compounding ‘academic mismatch,’ stress‐related interference, and disengagement. Many do not complete their intended programs or do not attain academic success to be attractive candidates for subsequent educational programs or employment.'”


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    Rab in reply to Rab. | August 7, 2020 at 10:33 am

    “Much empirical research over the years has confirmed Justice Scalia’s concern that admitting black students to institutions for which their academic preparation is not sufficient can be making them worse off instead of better off.

    I became painfully aware of this problem more than 40 years ago, when I was teaching at Cornell University, and discovered that half the black students there were on some form of academic probation.”

I wonder how many ignoramuses will take issue with the words “white paper”

When I was a premed academic adviser at Harvard in the early 1970s, the effects of affirmative action mismatch were heartbreaking. I was running sections of organic chemistry tutorials where 99% of the students were premeds.

Most of these premeds were what we described as “pre-natal premeds,” meaning that they were raised in a family that expected them to become a doctor. Usually their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles were mostly doctors, and they would feel like a failure if they didn’t go to Harvard and become a doctor. Their competition was intense. Many refused to help others, and some would even steal each others’ lab products.

Few of the Black premeds were pre-natal premeds. Most of them were the best and the brightest at their high schools, and they were skimmed off by Harvard admissions staff, who thought they were doing them a big favor by admitting them to Harvard. These are bright students who would excel in the premed classes at their state universities or some other less competitive environment. They could be expected to go on to medical school and become excellent doctors.

When these bright, highly motivated Black students encountered Harvard’s hypercompetitive premed environment, many of them crashed and burned. That had nothing to do with their being Black, but everything to do with their being chosen under different standards and then thrust into an environment where they could not compete successfully. The result was that many or most of Harvard’s Black premed students left the program and never became doctors. They often drifted into Afro or some other welcoming major that did not involve cutthroat competition.

Black students need to be advised not to accept admissions offers that will place them into schools where they are not likely to excel and fulfill their academic goals. I personally knew scores of Black students who would now be successful doctors if they gone to schools (like the one where I worked more recently) where they could compete successfully. Someone needs to tell them that an offer of admission based on a racial preference is likely to place them somewhere that they will be unable to compete effectively with the other students. Such offers are good for the school’s racial quotas, but bad for many of the affected students.