Staving Off the Yellow Peril: The University of California regents vote to reduce the number of Asian Americans students
6 are women, 3 are Hispanic, 2 or 3 are African American, 4 may be Jewish. They all voted to discriminate against Asian Americans. “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” See Stop being a sap
Richard C. Blum
William De La Pena
Russell S. Gould
Leslie Tang Schilling
(Office of the Secretary and Chief of Staff to the Regents)
Odessa P. Johnson
Joanne Corday Kozberg (California Strategies, LLC)
Sherry L. Lansing (Film producer)
Monica C. Lozano (La Opinion)
George M. Marcus (Marcus & Millichap Co.)
Norman J. Pattiz (Westwood One)
Frederick Ruiz (Ruiz Foods Inc.)
D’Artagnan Scorza (UCLA student)
Bruce D. Varner (Varner & Brandt, LLP)
Paul D. Wachter (Main Street Advisors)
(Judith L. Hopkinson abstained)
6/23/09 Investors Business Daily: “The Viciousness
Of Academic Liberals,”
by Walter E. Williams
Ward Connerly, former University of California regent, has an article, “Study, Study, Study — A Bad Career Move” in the June 2, 2009, edition of Minding the Campus that should raise any decent American’s level of disgust for what’s routinely practiced at most of our universities.
Mr. Connerly tells of a conversation he had with a high-ranking UC administrator about a proposal that the administrator was developing to increase campus diversity.
Connerly asked the administrator why he considered it important to tinker with admissions instead of just letting the chips fall where they may. His response was that unless the university took steps to “guide” admissions decisions, the UC campuses would be dominated by Asians.
When Connerly asked, “What would be wrong with that?”, the UC administrator told him that Asians are “too dull — they study, study, study.” Then he said to Connerly, “If you ever say I said this, I will have to deny it.”
Connerly did not reveal the administrator’s name. It would not have done any good because it’s part of a diversity vision shared by most college administrators.
With the enactment of California ‘s Proposition 209 in 1996, outlawing racial discrimination in college admissions, Asian enrollment at UC campuses has skyrocketed. The UC Berkeley student body is 42% Asian students; UC Irvine 55%; UC Riverside 43%; and UCLA 38%. Asian student enrollment on all nine UC campuses is over 40%. That’s in a state where the Asian population is about 13%.
When there are policies that emphasize and reward academic achievement, Asians excel. College officials and others who are proponents of “diversity” and equal representation find that outcome offensive.
To deal with the Asian “menace,” the UC regents have proposed, starting in 2010, that no longer will the top 12.5% of students based on statewide performance be automatically admitted. Students won’t have to take SAT subject matter tests. Grades and test scores will no longer weigh so heavily in admission decisions.
This is simply gross racial discrimination against those “dull” Asian students who “study, study, study” in favor of “interesting” black, white and Hispanic students who don’t “study, study, study.”
This is truly evil and would be readily condemned as such if applied to other areas lacking in diversity.
With blacks making up about 80% of professional basketball players, there is little or no diversity in professional basketball. Even at college-level basketball, it’s not unusual to watch two teams playing and there not being a single white player on the court, much less a Chinese or Japanese player.
I can think of several rule changes that might increase racial diversity in professional and college basketball. How about eliminating slam dunks and disallowing three-point shots? Restrict dribbling? Lower the basket’s height?
These and other rule changes would take away the “unfair” advantage that black players appear to have and create greater basketball diversity.
But wouldn’t diversity so achieved be despicable? If you answer yes, why would it be any less so when it’s used to fulfill somebody’s vision of college diversity?
Ward Connerly ends his article saying, “There is one truth that is universally applicable in the era of ‘diversity,’ especially in American universities: an absolute unwillingness to accept the verdict of colorblind policies.”
Hypocrisy is part and parcel of the liberal academic elite. But the American people, who fund universities as parents, donors or taxpayers, should not accept this evilness and there’s a good way to stop it — cut off the funding to racially discriminating colleges and universities.
Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University .
4/25/09 Associated Press: “New UC admissions policy angers Asian-Americans,”
by Terence Chea
San Francisco (AP) — A new admissions policy set to take effect at the University of California system in three years is raising fears among Asian-Americans that it will reduce their numbers on campus, where they account for 40 percent of all undergraduates.
University officials say the new standards — the biggest change in UC admissions since 1960 — are intended to widen the pool of high school applicants and make the process more fair.
But Asian-American advocates, parents and lawmakers are angrily calling on the university to rescind the policy, which will apply at all nine of the system’s undergraduate campuses.
They point to a UC projection that the new standards would sharply reduce Asian-American admissions while resulting in little change for blacks and Hispanics, and a big gain for white students.
“I like to call it affirmative action for whites,” said Ling-chi Wang, a retired professor at UC Berkeley. “I think it’s extremely unfair to Asian-Americans on the one hand and underrepresented minorities on the other.”
Asian-Americans are the single largest ethnic group among UC’s 173,000 undergraduates. In 2008, they accounted for 40 percent at UCLA and 43 percent at UC Berkeley — the two most selective campuses in the UC system — as well as 50 percent at UC San Diego and 54 percent at UC Irvine.
Asian-Americans are about 12 percent of California ‘s population and 4 percent of the U.S. population overall.
The new policy, approved unanimously by the UC Board of Regents in February, will greatly expand the applicant pool, eliminate the requirement that applicants take two SAT subject tests and reduce the number of students guaranteed admission based on grades and test scores alone. It takes effect for the freshman class of fall 2012.
Some opponents have charged that the university is trying to reduce Asian-American enrollment. Others say that may not be the intent, but it will be the result.
UC officials adamantly deny the intent is to increase racial diversity, and reject allegations the policy is an attempt to circumvent a 1996 voter-approved ban on affirmative action.
“The primary goal is fairness and eliminating barriers that seem unnecessary,” UC President Mark Yudof said. “It means that if you’re a parent out there, more of your sons’ and daughters’ files will be reviewed.”
Yudof and other officials disputed the internal study that projected a drop of about 20 percent in Asian-American admissions, saying it is impossible to accurately predict the effects. “This is not Armageddon for Asian-American students,” Yudof said.
At San Francisco ‘s Lowell High School , one of the top public schools in the country, about 70 percent of the students are of Asian descent and more than 40 percent attend UC after graduation.
“If there are Asian-Americans who are qualified and don’t get into UC because they’re trying to increase diversity, then I think that’s unfair,” said 16-year-old junior Jessica Peng. “I think that UC is lowering its standards by doing that.”
Doug Chan, who has a teenage son at Lowell, said: “Parents are very skeptical and suspicious that this is yet another attempt to move the goal posts or change the rules of the game for Asian college applicants.”
One of the biggest changes is scrapping the requirement that applicants take two SAT subject tests. UC officials say the tests do little to predict who will succeed at UC, no other public university requires them, and many high-achieving students are disqualified because they do not take them.
The policy also widens the pool of candidates by allowing applications from all students who complete the required high school courses, take the main SAT or ACT exams and maintain a 3.0 grade-point average. Under the current policy, students have to rank in the top 12.5 percent of California high school graduates to be eligible.
Students still have to apply to individual campuses, where admissions officers are allowed to consider each applicants’ grades, test scores, personal background, extracurricular activities and other factors but not race.
The policy is expected to increase competition for UC admission. This year the university turned away the largest number of students in years after it received a record number of applications and cut freshman enrollment because of the state’s budget crisis.
“I’m getting all sorts of e-mails from parents, alumni and donors who are quite upset by the action UC took,” said state Assemblyman Ted Lieu, chairman of the Legislature’s 11-member Asian-American caucus.
2/6/09 National Review.com: “Staving Off the ‘Yellow Peril’: The University of California regents attempt to curtail Asian admissions,”
by Stephan Thernstrom
In 1995, the regents of the University of California, at the urging of Ward Connerly and Gov. Pete Wilson, voted to bar racial preferences on all nine of the system’s campuses. A year later, the state’s voters passed Proposition 209, an amendment to the constitution that extended that ban to state and local governments. But today, the regents are expected to
approve major changes in admissions policies that represent the most recent of many misguided attempts to circumvent Prop 209.
The move is breathtaking. It will drop the requirement that applicants take two SAT “subject tests”; if the students the school wants tend to do poorly on such tests, then it is best not to know just how poorly. The plan also sharply lowers the academic standards that applicants must meet to be eligible for a “full admissions review.” This review is where their distinctive “personal qualities” can be discerned and made to count for more than the weaknesses in their academic performance.
These changes are manifestly driven by the desire to bring in more black and Hispanic students. Remarkably, though, the university’s own projections
indicate that the plan will do almost nothing to expand black enrollment and will be of very modest benefit to Hispanics. Even more remarkably, the prime beneficiaries of the changes will be non-Hispanic whites, whose share of total enrollments is predicted to rise by 20-30 percent.
And the big losers will be Asian Americans, whose numbers will be reduced by 10-20 percent. The net effect will thus be to make the University of California substantially “whiter” than it has been.
That’s ironic, because when the battle for race-blind admissions began, opponents worried that Prop 209 would transform UC into a “lily white” institution. This dire prophecy proved ludicrously far from the mark.
The big gainers were not white applicants; they were Asian Americans.
Although only 12 percent of the state’s population, Asians accounted for 37 percent of UC admissions in 2008.
Also, while black and Hispanic enrollments at the most selective campuses (Berkeley and UCLA) did fall sharply, rises at places like Riverside and Irvine more than offset the declines. In fact, the Hispanic share of total UC enrollments has risen dramatically over the past dozen years, from 14 to 22 percent. Black students made gains too, though slight ones. More important, minority graduation rates have improved substantially, now that these students are no longer “mismatched” as a result of racial double standards.
Although these numbers indicate that blacks and Hispanics, particularly the latter, have fared well under race-blind admissions, university officials have long been tinkering with the rules in an effort to bring in more
“underrepresented minorities.” Standardized tests have counted for less and less, and admissions have become more “holistic”-i.e., subjective.
Demonstrating that an applicant has “overcome disadvantage” has become more important than demonstrating that he grasps quadratic equations and can write a literate essay.
It’s hard to believe that, as part of this mission, the regents are deliberately trying to do their bit to stave off the “yellow peril.”
But proponents of racial preferences have let slip some highly unsavory attitudes on occasion. My wife, Abigail, appeared on Crossfire many years ago and was asked by liberal co-host Bob Beckel whether she would “like to see UCLA Law School 80 percent Asian.” In a 1995 interview, President Clinton said that “there are universities in California that could fill their
entire freshman classes with nothing but Asian Americans.” In 1998, a writer for Newsday asked, “Since Asians outscore everyone, would we accept an all-Asian class?”
Nasty stuff, and not aberrational. If you truly believe that it is unjust that some groups are “underrepresented” at elite institutions, it follows
inexorably that no groups may be “overrepresented.”
Mathematically, when no one is underrepresented, no one is overrepresented. Since Asians have more than triple their “proper share” of places at the University of California, and quadruple their share at
Berkeley and UCLA, they are the chief obstacle to “equity” in higher education.
A high-school counselor interviewed by Inside Higher Education denied that the university officials who dreamed up the new plan were motivated by anti-Asian prejudice. He contended that the drop in the number of
Asians admitted is just “collateral damage.” The metaphor misleads.
The new admissions policy is likely not motivated by a desire to cut back on Asian enrollments but by a desire to expand the enrollments of other groups. But if you can’t do much of the latter without a lot of the former, this is a distinction without a difference.
– Stephan Thernstrom is Winthrop Research Professor of History at Harvard University. His books include America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible and No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning,
both co-authored with his wife, Abigail.
2/5/09 Inside Higher Ed: “Unintentional Whitening of U. of California ?”
by Scott Jaschik
For several years now, the University of California has been debating
plans to drop the SAT Subject Tests (formerly called the SAT II or
achievement tests) and to find ways to consider more minority applicants.
The debate has focused on the relative merits (or lack thereof) of the SAT
and how to promote diversity while not violating the state’s ban on
In the past few days, however, a new issue has started to attract attention:
concerns that the admissions policy changes that are expected to be
approved by the Board of Regents today could lead to a significant drop in
the numbers of Asian-American applicants who are admitted — with the
major gains going to white applicants.
According to data prepared by the university and just starting to receive
attention, 36 percent of those admitted to the university system in 2007-8
were Asian Americans. Applying the new admissions standards, that
percentage would drop to 29-32 percent. In contrast, white applicants
made up 34 percent of those admitted in 2007-8. Under the proposed
reforms, they would have made up 41 to 44 percent of the entering class.
The bottom line is that Asian Americans would shift from being the largest
group gaining admission to the University of California to the second.
Some Asian American groups are calling on the Board of Regents to
hold off on any vote today, raising questions about the fairness and
wisdom of the changes being considered. (A board subcommittee
approved the plan Wednesday, unanimously.)
“All of us share the goal of trying to preserve excellence as well as to
promote diversity. But the gains for Latinos and African Americans in
these projections are very small, while the decreases for Asian Americans
and the gains for whites are quite large,” said Vincent Pan, president of
Chinese for Affirmative Action, a national group based in California.
“There’s almost a swapping out of Asian students for white students. Let’s
not rush this thing.”
But university leaders are playing down the demographic projections and
defending the admissions plan, which emerged from the Academic Senate,
a system-wide faculty group. Mark G. Yudof, president of the university, said
in a statement of the proposal: “It also sends a clear message to California
high school students that if they work hard, take challenging courses and do
well, they will get to make their case for admission to UC.” The university
system has been praised by faculty and student groups for the planned shift.
Admission to the University of California is enormously competitive, and
families in the state long to be able to send children to its prestigious
campuses, where they can be educated at top research universities at a
fraction of what they would pay for a private institution. In California , race
and admissions have been tangled and divisive for years. The success of
Asian American students in winning admission to UC campuses has meant
that those institutions are in many ways more diverse than much of American
higher education. But the state’s ban on affirmative action in public university
admissions has depressed the admission of black and Latino students.
The proposal before the Board of Regents today would do the following:
End the requirement that applicants submit two SAT Subject Test scores.
Narrow from the top 12.5 to the top 9 percent of high school graduates the
percentage who will be guaranteed admission to the university system
(although not necessarily to the campus of their choice).
Expand the definition of applicants eligible for a full admission review to
include all who complete 11 of 15 required high school courses by the end
of their junior year, and achieve a grade-point average of at least 3.0
The last shift is expected to greatly expand the pool of those entitled to a
full admissions review, where personal qualities and other factors may help
some win admission. Indeed those deemed eligible for a full review would
go up in all racial and ethnic groups. But the gains in eligibility are not
necessarily going to translate into gains in admissions for all groups — or
into gains that reflect the gains in those eligible for a full review.
Projected Impact of Admissions Changes on Different Racial and
|Group||Projected Increase in Eligibility for Review||% of 2007-8 Admits Under Current Policy
|Estimates of Percentage of 2007-8 Class Admitted Under New Rules|
(Note: Numbers do not add to 100 because of “other” and students whose ethnicity is not known.)
There are various theories about why the numbers could change in
these ways. The thinking behind dropping the SAT Subject Tests, according
to the faculty panels that came up with the idea, is that they provide little
information that helps admissions officers, but many black and Latino
students appear less likely to take the exams, and have therefore been
losing a shot at admission.
While some testing critics have welcomed the skepticism about the
SAT Subject Tests, other educators have questioned whether the university
is poised to drop the right test. A report out of the Center for Studies in Higher
Education (part of the university’s Berkeley campus) last year found that the
subject tests were better at predicting academic success and more
equitable in treatment of minority students than the main SAT, which the
university is keeping.
Pan, of Chinese for Affirmative Action, cited another possible explanation
for why the changes could exclude Asian Americans. They, on average, do
very well on the SAT Subject Tests. Defenders of those tests say that,
compared to the primary SAT, the subject examinations more closely relate
to the high school curriculum. “We think they are much better tests than the
aptitude tests, and they provide an incentive for schools to focus on course
performance,” Pan said.
He added that he believed students would do well on the subject tests
only if they took rigorous courses in high school, and worked hard. “This
leaves behind the SAT, which many companies use to make money on
test prep,” he said. “It’s the wrong direction for UC.”
A spokesman for the university system said that at a meeting today,
President Yudof stressed that the estimates about impact on enrollment
were just rough estimates, and shouldn’t be seen as definitive. The
university is much more confident about the figures about those who will
be eligible for admission than those who would be admitted, the
Mary Croughan, an epidemiologist at the university’s San Francisco
campus and chair of the systemwide Academic Senate, said that the
apparent disadvantage for Asian Americans is actually a result of their
success. Such a large share of Asian American high school students
already are eligible to be considered and win admission that their
numbers couldn’t go up as much as those of other groups, she said.
“There is absolutely no desire to cut their numbers,” she said. “What
we want is a University of California more accessible to all students.”
Asked about the charges of Asian groups that their students were
following the rules, taking the right courses, demonstrating their course
mastery and were now losing admissions slots, Croughan said that
“parents know how to read the rules for admission and they do what
they need to do.” She predicted that Asian Americans would continue
to do well. She also said it is hard to predict exactly what will happen
under the new system because the new rules could change student
behavior in high school.
Pan said that the real problem is that faculty at the university would
like to restore affirmative action, but can’t say that. Repealing
Proposition 209, which barred the consideration of race in admissions,
makes a lot of sense, Pan said. “But that’s very difficult, and to some,
unachievable. Because they can’t politically say they want that, they are
trying to accomplish something with this plan.”
Croughan strongly disputed that. “This is not a work-around on 209 by
any stretch of the imagination,” she said. While adding that “there are
significant reasons to repeal 209,” this is a different issue.
Jon Reider, director of college counseling at San Francisco University
High School, a private institution known for having a top-notch student
body, said that when University of California officials presented
information about the planned changes at meetings of high school
guidance counselors, they focused on how these changes would expand
opportunities for disadvantaged students, and did not discuss a possible
impact on Asian enrollments.
He said that any Asian students at his high school who lose a spot
because of these changes would end up doing well elsewhere, as these
students would learn about other good options. He said, however, that
he worried that plenty of Asian students at other high schools wouldn’t
have access to that kind of information.
Reider also noted that Asian American leaders have “a history of being
suspicious of UC admissions,” because of a sense of many that Asian
applicants are held to a higher standard. Reider doesn’t think anti-Asian
feeling is at play in these changes. “The intention is to broaden black and
Latino eligibility,” he said. As for the white increases and Asian
decreases, he added, “that is what in the military they call collateral
2/3/09 cbs5.com (KPIX TV San Francisco Oakland San Jose): Asian
American Leaders Call on UC Regents to Delay Action on Freshman
Asian-American leaders gathered today at Chinese for Affirmative
Action headquarters in San Francisco to call on the University of California
Board of Regents to delay action on a new proposal to alter freshman
The leaders, including UC Berkeley professor emeritus L. Ling-Chi
Wang, CAA executive director Vincent Pan and San Francisco Assessor-
Recorder Phil Ting, argued that if approved, the proposal would cause the
most significant structural changes to UC freshman admission policies
since the establishment of California ‘s Master Plan for Higher Education
Changes under the plan would include a reduction in statewide eligibility
from 12.5 percent to 9 percent of California high school graduates. However,
local eligibility, or the percentage of students accepted from each high
school in the state, would increase from 4 percent to 9 percent.
The selection of the remainder of the eligibility pool would be based on
campus review, and the SAT II achievement test would no longer be required
as part of the admission process.
The leaders argued that the proposal, scheduled for review by the regents
on Wednesday, should not be considered until it is thoroughly researched
and subjected to public and legislative examination.
Moreover, they believe the new proposal is especially disadvantageous to
Asian American applicants.
Henry Der, former chairman of the California Postsecondary Education
Commission, claimed that in-depth studies on the impact of the proposed
changes have not been conducted but that early indications show the
changes would not significantly increase the enrollment of underrepresented
minorities and that furthermore, the proposal would negatively impact Asian
That sentiment was echoed by Ting, a graduate of UC Berkeley, who said
the proposal would hurt diversity on UC campuses.
Calling the new proposal “very troubling” and the regents’ efforts to expand
the enrollment pool “fraudulent,” Der said the study shows that the
percentage of Hispanic and Asian American applicants will decrease. “It is
not fair or just to change the rules of the game at this point,” Der said. Der
claimed that the elimination of the SAT II is the most problematic aspect of
the proposal because it gives students the wrong signal. “We need to signal
that what they have studied is important,” Der said.
Wang said that along with grade point averages, the SAT II is the best
predictor of college-level performance.
The regents will vote on the proposal at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at UCSF
Mission Bay Community Center, located at 1675 Owens St. , San Francisco.
11/20/08 The Berkeley Daily Planet: “Reader Commentaries: What We Don’t Know About Changing UC’s Admission Standards,”
By Doug Ose
The University of California Board of Regents is considering a set of sweeping changes to the UC system’s admissions criteria. Among the proposed changes is the elimination of SAT Subject Tests as an admissions requirement. Unlike the more comprehensive SAT, subject tests are focused on one of 20 different academic areas ranging from physics and chemistry to languages and fine art.
Critics of subject tests argue for maintaining high academic standards and promoting diversity. A closer look tells a different story, one the regents and the UC Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS), which proposed the changes, aren’t talking about.
A September 2008 report from the National Association for College Admission Counseling noted that, “there are tests that, at many institutions, are more predictive of first-year and overall grades in college and more closely linked to the high school curriculum, including the College Board’s AP exams and Subject Tests.” Eliminating subject tests in light of this research defies common sense.
Further confounding common sense is a 2001 report by University of California researchers who studied some 80,000 student records and concluded that SAT Subject Tests combined with high school grades were among the best predictors of college success.
Some call subject tests a “barrier” to admission in the UC system. What we’re not told is the main reason cited for getting rid of them is that some students don’t know the tests are required. This staggeringly simplistic rationale raises legitimate questions about the wisdom of the regents’ willingness to consider admitting to the UC system students who cannot understand the most fundamental step of entering college which is to apply for it. The answer is for UC to better communicate its admissions requirements, not eliminate them.
Diversity is also used as an argument for eliminating subject tests. The facts show that subject tests play a critical role in admitting thousands of deserving minority students. Data compiled by the College Board, which administers SAT Subject Tests, shows that 10,010 students were admitted to the UC system in 2007 as a direct result of subject tests. These students had marginal scores on their SATs yet scored 700 or more on their subject tests, demonstrating tremendous knowledge and merit.
Among these students last year were more than 4,800 children of Hispanic, Mexican-American, or other Latino heritage, and more than 3,700 students from Asian, Asian-American or Pacific Island backgrounds. To say that eliminating subject tests will improve diversity simply does not hold water.
Another goal of the proposed changes is the desire for a “more holistic admissions system.” However, eliminating empirical measures like SAT Subject Tests could produce disastrous results. A “more holistic” admissions program is underway at UCLA with potentially illegal fallout amid allegations of violating Proposition 209, which banned race-based admissions to California ’s public colleges.
Professor Timothy Groseclose resigned from UCLA’s Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Relations with Schools in August citing evidence that, “strongly suggests that UCLA is cheating on admissions,” and claiming the committee is engaged in a “cover-up” to prevent disclosure of illegal activity. Why would the Board of Regents even contemplate changes that invite similar mischief at other campuses? A system-wide scandal of this nature would plunge UC into chaos and degrade its reputation.
Changes to the UC admissions standards affect the lives of thousands of students, the integrity of the institution and will have an impact for years to come. Revising these standards demands thoughtful deliberation, not the approach of UC regent and former Paramount Studios CEO Sherry Lansing who confessed during the Sept. 18 regents meeting, “I became a regent to get the SATs eliminated.” If this is the new standard for determining admissions to the UC system, we all have reason to be concerned for the future of the University of California and its legacy of excellence.
For more information and ways to help please go to www.saveucstandards.com.
Doug Ose is a former U.S. Congressman, representing California ’s District 3.