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NEWS DIGEST: 12/13/2019



Hundreds of scholars protest Harvard’s decision to deny tenure to Latinx studies professor | Boston Globe

“The lack of transparency around how Professor García Peña’s tenure was vetoed at Harvard’s highest levels makes us wonder whether any ethnic studies professor can truly succeed and thrive there,” [Diverse Harvard’s Jeannie] Park said. “And we worry that the few remaining ethnic studies faculty are wondering the same. How can we continue to encourage faculty to come build this program, when the university has treated ethnic studies scholars so poorly?”



Students and faculty members at Harvard and other universities considered the denial a reflection of the university's opinion of not only García Peña, who is regarded as an excellent professor and expert in the field of ethnic studies, but of the subject matter she studies.In 2019, 4 percent of Harvard's tenure-track faculty members were underrepresented minority women, the smallest percentage of any demographic. Underrepresented minority women were also the least represented among tenured faculty members at just 3 percent.


Harvard University Sparks Outrage for Denying Tenure to ‘Latina Star Scholar’ | Daily Beast


Students have waged protests and more than 3,000 scholars have called for the Ivy League university to reverse its decision regarding professor Lorgia García Peña.


bell hooks, Hundreds of Scholars Protest Harvard’s ‘Shocking’ Decision to Deny Latina Professor Tenure | Daily Beast


Uproar after Harvard's only Latina professor on the tenure track denied status | NBC News 

"She's a monument on this campus," said a student about Lorgia García Peña. Thousands of academics around the country are questioning the university's decision.


Ethnic Studies Advocates Interrupt Faculty Meeting, Denounce Univ. Decision to Deny Prof Specializing in Latinx Studies Tenure | Harvard Crimson


She’s a ‘Star’ Latina Professor. But Not Good Enough for Tenure at Harvard. | The Chronicle of Higher Education

Harvard denied tenure to Lorgia García-Peña sparking outrage from students and scholars who say ethnic studies aren’t valued. (See graphics on Harvard faculty diversity.)


Lorgia García Peña Rules, Harvard University Drools | Jezebel

Just “26% of tenured faculty at Harvard are women, with 21% being white women. [F]aculty of García Peña’s caliber are indispensable, especially when considering similarly identified students on campus who often struggle to find the support they need to succeed.”


What Lorgia García Peña’s Tenure Denial Means for Other Latina Scholars | Medium

Her rejection continues a long tradition in academia of ignoring the brilliance of Afro Latinx scholars and educators.


For video of student protests, go to the Harvard TAPAS Facebook page.




‘The Administration Is Assuming That We Are Going to Do Their Dirty Work’. | The Chronicle Review

Graduate workers at Harvard are striking.  Here’s what they want, and how they plan to get it. 


Experts Say Harvard Internal Email About Grad Union Strike May Violate Labor Law | Harvard Crimson


I Have a Ph.D. in Not Having Money’ | New York Times

After David Velasquez graduates from Harvard Medical School, he plans to treat homeless, undocumented and poor patients. He wants to treat patients who look like his family. But he has learned that the dream comes at a cost.




895 admitted under early action program | Harvard Crimson

Women make up 51.7 percent of those accepted. So far, the incoming class includes students from a range of ethnic backgrounds. African Americans constitute 12.7 percent of those admitted (12 percent last year), Asian Americans 24 percent (26.1 percent last year), Latinx 11.1 percent (10.1 percent last year), and Native Americans and Native Hawaiians 1.3 percent (1 percent last year). So far 10.1 percent of the admitted students come from first-generation college backgrounds compared with 9.6 percent last year.


Opinion | The Harvard case on considering race in admissions is a victory for diversity | Washington Post

Prairie View A&M president, former Brown president, and Harvard trial witness Ruth Simmons: “How to address the more robust and dangerous differences among us is, in many ways, the central question of our democracy. As an educator, I have long believed that our most important role in preparing students for responsible citizenship is to assist them in understanding the differences that can divide society and, more important, the role that they can play in navigating, alleviating and mediating those differences. I cannot imagine holding our country together without such capacities.”


Commentary: Mother, daughters, doctors. Affirmative action at Harvard makes a generational ripple in improving black health care. | Chicago Tribune

“Our mother’s passion for learning, her dogged perseverance and her commitment to serving her community heavily influenced our own decision to become physicians. We are the first black mother-daughter legacy from HMS and, although we practice medicine in a different era, our struggles are similar. . . . Racial health disparities, compounded by the dearth of black physicians, have stubbornly persisted.”


Opinion: It's time for UC to stop using the SAT | Los Angeles Times

Prof. Janelle Wong:  Decades of research show the SAT and ACT add little to the high school GPA’s prediction of a student’s performance in the first year of college; their predictive value drops further with each subsequent year.


In this Twitter thread, Yuvraj Joshi breaks down how Supreme Court justices across the political spectrum have proposed de-emphasizing standardized test scores in affirmative action cases since the 1970s. An upcoming lawsuit challenges the University of California’s use of the SAT or ACT on the basis that these tests are deeply biased and provide no meaningful information about a student’s ability to succeed. 

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