New Report Critiques Affirmative Action Studies
The National Association of Scholars (NAS) has posted a new report on its Web page, “The Changing Shape of the River: Affirmative Action and Recent Social Science Research,” prepared by Dr. Russell Nieli, a lecturer in the department of politics at Princeton University. In the report, Nieli summarizes the research findings of several recent social science studies of affirmative action admissions policies at elite colleges and universities. These findings, as noted in the survey’s introduction, pose a challenge to the arguments advanced in William Bowen and Derek Bok’s 1998 book, The Shape of the River, often cited by supporters of affirmative action admissions programs in college admissions.
Three of the studies in Nieli’s survey were sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which according to the NAS, has long sought to bolster public support for the use of race in higher education, and provided the principal support for Bowen and Bok’s work.
NAS President Dr. Stephen H. Balch emphasized the importance of Nieli’s survey to the ongoing public debate over affirmative action in American universities. “Nieli’s useful work reveals we now have an extensive body of very rigorous empirical research, seriously challenging those who claim that race preferences are an efficacious and indispensable component in American higher education.”
The survey is available on the NAS Web page at <www.nas.org>.
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