Julie J. Park, a University of Maryland, College Park associate professor, will discuss a recent Harvard University affirmative action case and how Asian Americans fit into the debate about race-conscious college admissions.

Photo of Julie J. Park
Julie Park

Presented by the National Center for Institutional Diversity as part of its Research & Scholarship Seminar Series, the discussion is free and open to the public. It begins at 1 p.m. Jan. 23 in the Vandenberg Room at the Michigan League.

In Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, the plaintiffs have alleged that Asian-American students are discriminated against during Harvard’s admissions process. Park served as a consulting expert for Harvard in the case.

“SFFA v. Harvard represents a landmark case in affirmative action history, representing the first time that Asian Americans have been brought forth as plaintiffs in a high-profile affirmative action legislation,” NCID Director Tabbye M. Chavous said.

During the event, Park will discuss her new book, “Race on Campus: Debunking Myths in Data,” in which she argues that Asian Americans benefit from affirmative action policies.

She will also address the role of social science data in the Harvard trial, including both the possibilities and limitations of statistical analyses in examining claims of discrimination, said Chavous, a professor of education, School of Education; and professor of psychology, LSA.

“The NCID was founded out of the university’s commitment to diversity after the affirmative action Supreme Court cases in the early 2000s,” Chavous said. “Thus, this talk is also directly related to the NCID and U-M’s history of mobilizing scholars and scholarship to inform and defend the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education and society.

Chavous said she hopes attendees will leave the discussion with a more complex understanding of the history and social science around affirmative action.