MIT Dept. of Urban Studies & Planning Discriminates Against Foreign Students (And Others)

That may sound extreme, but how else can one interpret this policy stated in the Admissions FAQ on its departmental web site?

3. What if I cannot afford the application fee? We understand the financial difficulties associated with application to graduate programs. However, the $70.00 application fee cannot be deferred or waived, except in the case of US minority applicants.

Elsewhere on its web site the Department of Urban Studies and Planning defiantly declares:

Long a goal of both the Department and MIT, strengthening of diversity continues despite the recent national assault on affirmative action.

In the view of the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, “diversity” can only be provided by “US minority applicants.” The web site does not declare whether those US minorities must be native-born American citizens.

Say What? (4)

  1. Rhymes With Right September 7, 2007 at 12:33 pm | | Reply

    Hold on — doesn’t limiting a financial assistance program based upon race/ethnicity and national origin violate a number of US civil rights laws? You know, if the school in question receives any federal funds for any program.

  2. ACF September 7, 2007 at 2:59 pm | | Reply

    There are tons of programs like this. There are also high profile hires every day in the government that are based on sex and skin color. People “in the know” know all about these things.

    The real question is how to address the problem.

    Ward Connerly (and now John)’s approach is to have ballot initiatives in a handful of states. The value of this approach is questionable. That is, discrimination in hiring, admissions, etc. in California and Michigan (and Washington) are as strong as ever. Now, you might, say, well that can’t be the case, afterall a law was passed. That doesn’t mean anything. The admissions officers and hiring officials have figured out how to keep discriminating (“holistic” approaches).

    So, I question the ballot initiative approach and the “die a thousand deaths” approach of FIRE (in which tiny little issues at various universities and colleges are pursued by writing “strong” letters to the administration).

    The real approach that should be taken is very very simple.

    Someone (CEO? Plaintiff’s attorneys? Others?) should begin suing universities for these violations, seeking penalties in the hundreds of millions of dollars in class action suits representing the whole male population of individual states. I bet that a few years of litigation and a few billion dollars in penalties (and some firings) would tend to stop most violations.

  3. mikem September 7, 2007 at 5:23 pm | | Reply

    ACF makes a very valid point. The Federal government is responsible with the ultimate enforcing of discrimination laws. But much of the Federal Government, for the last 30 years, has been infused with the beneficiaries of discriminatory quotas. Worst, starting 20 some odd years ago, managers were officially informed (a copy was printed in the paper) that they would not be considered for advancement unless their divisions were proportional. So you have minority and women in hiring and promotion who feel free to discriminate at will, as well as cowed (or agreeable) enforcement groups who will not step in.

    These are not the people who are going to respond to even the most obvious discrimination against non favored groups.

    And the ACLU?? They are no more a civil rights group than they are a free speech advocate. (A law professor once “corrected” me on that by informing his readers that the ACLU had issued a white paper of sorts against speech codes back in the early/mid ninties. Snort.)

    ACF is right. Only punishing lawsuits will change things. The question is, what organization could fund such lawsuits? And what chances would such an organization have of getting tax free status like the ACLU?

    ACF is absolutely right, but it is hard to see it happening anytime soon.

  4. ACF September 7, 2007 at 7:45 pm | | Reply


    What organization funds ambulance chasers (er, I mean plaintiff’s attorney’s)? There is no such organziation, nor does there need to be.

    Class action lawyers are funded by their settlements.

    All we need is for one potential big ticket settlement (pro bono at first), and there would be plenty of lawyers who would do the suing. Heck, you could even start to see commercials late at night: “Are you a highly productive white person who has been the victim of racist admissions and hiring policies, well just call us at 1-800…..”

Say What?