Wednesday, May 2, 2012

More on Liz Warren, Harvard, and Affirmative Action

Andrew Strom, Harvard Law School class of 1993, writes:

I saw your post about Elizabeth Warren, and while you make good points, what is missing (not surprisingly) is evidence about what actually occurred at Harvard.  I attended Harvard Law School from 1990 to 1993.  While I was there the single biggest issue on campus was the absence of women of color on the faculty.  At that time, there were zero women of color on the Harvard Law School faculty.  This was such a big issue that nine students occupied the Dean's office to protest the school's hiring practices.  Elizabeth Warren was a visiting professor at Harvard from 1992 to 1993.  I know from my own experience that students who were part of the diversity movement never thought of her as a woman of color, and the administration never identified her to students as a woman of color when it was defending its hiring practices.  When Harvard did have women of color as visiting professors there was often pressure from students for the administration to extend offers to those professors.  Elizabeth Warren's name was never floated during any of those conversations. 

I can also say that I took bankruptcy law with Professor Warren and she was an excellent professor.  She had total mastery of the subject matter and she did a great job of conveying it to students.

Hardly surprising, to me at least, but a useful additional bit of evidence.

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