Will the Supreme Court Kill Affirmative Action in Admissions?


Will the Supreme Court Kill Affirmative Action in Admissions?

Episode 129. November 29, 2022.

Welcome to the Office Hours with EAB podcast. You can join the conversation on social media using #EABOfficeHours. Follow the podcast on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud and Stitcher or visit our podcast homepage for additional episodes.

EAB’s Wenie Lado is joined by Tufts University professor and author, Natasha Warikoo. The two discuss Natasha’s new book, “Is Affirmative Action Fair? The Myth of Equity in College Admissions,” as well as the potential impacts of the upcoming Supreme Court decision on the legitimacy of race-conscious admissions.

Natasha and Wenie examine the arguments for and against affirmative action and offer recommendations on what university leaders can and should be doing to diversify their enrollments regardless of how the Supreme Court rules.


0:00:11.3 Speaker 1: Hello, and welcome to Office Hours with EAB. Today we sit down with Tufts University Professor Natasha Warikoo to talk about her new book that looks at the history and future role, if there is one, of affirmative action in university admissions. She joins EAB's Wenie Lado to talk about the extent to which anything about university admissions is fair and about whether universities can even deliver on their mission without a diverse enrollment, which brings with it a diversity of thought and lived experiences. Give these folks a listen and enjoy.

0:00:52.9 Wenie Lado: Hello, and welcome to Office Hours with EAB. My name is Wenie Lado and I am a Senior College Success Manager for College Greenlight. College Greenlight unites a collective of education advocates to increase college access and completion for underrepresented and historically underserved students. We are powered through Cappex, which is a college search engine for students, and Cappex is part of the Audience Generation Division of EAB. With me today is Natasha Warikoo, a professor at Tufts University and an author of several books, including her newest, Is Affirmative Action Fair? The Myth of Equity in College Admissions. Hi, Natasha. How are you?

0:01:38.4 Natasha Warikoo: I'm good, Wenie. It's so great to be here. Thanks for having me.

0:01:41.5 WL: Yes, it is our pleasure, Natasha. I want to get to the topic of your book, but first let's set some context around why this issue is particularly important for us today as we talk about affirmative action. And as we record this episode, we know that the US Supreme Court is considering the legality of affirmative action in the university admissions policies or practices. There are critics out there that believe that returning this decades-long precedent will decrease the representation of Black and Hispanic Latino students in higher education. So a simple question for you, Natasha, is the sky falling?

0:02:21.4 NW: Well, the sky is not falling, but I do think that this is a really important decision that is going to be made. And I think, I hope people are paying close attention because we, you know, we can probably pretty easily predict what's going to happen if this US Supreme Court decides that race-based affirmative action is no longer permissible because, we have already nine states that don't allow affirmative action in their state-funded schools because of either state referenda or actions on the legislature.

0:02:55.1 NW: And we see in those states declines in Black and Latinx enrollment in higher education and then knock-on effects on enrollment in graduate programs, in medical school, and even an impact on wages down the line. So, I think the evidence from these states suggests that, a similar thing might happen across the country if this ends. But we'll have to wait and see what the Supreme Court says because I don't think it's a done deal yet.

0:03:22.6 WL: Certainly. And you're correct in that, you know, this isn't necessarily a newer conversation being that there are nine states that have already faced this. I'm curious from your perspective, why haven't people been talking about those nine states? What keeps us from having a conversation knowing that it's been implemented in nine states, but now that there's a fire burning in this conversation, it seems very preliminary for a lot of people who are thinking about affirmative action and the implications that it can have in their work and their policies. And when I say people, I mean, higher education individuals who are working in the enrollment space.

0:04:04.7 NW: Yeah, that's an interesting question because my, you know, first I was like, you're right, why haven't we been, why haven't people been paying attention? And I think this is a sort of failure of the connection between what researchers are doing and getting the research out there and to like making it understood that, you know, there's actually, this is not an opinion question on whether what will happen. And of course we don't know, there's a lots of things that are different about these specific states that are different than the country. Will it be different if it's the whole country versus localized and public versus private? So we don't know exactly what will happen, but I think we can better predict. And I think part of this is our, you know, this disconnect between what researchers are doing from even the policy world, let alone just like the general conversation. And so, I think we need a lot, I think scholars need to be better about putting our research out there and helping people understand and make sense of it and see how it applies to what's going on in the present moment.

0:05:02.7 NW: And also that, you know, journalists who are writing about these things also need to be connecting with scholars who have answers to the questions that they're raising as well.

0:05:13.7 WL: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And you are a perfect example of this, right? You've researched and you've collected information about this affirmative action issue and challenge that is out there. And so as we talk today, I'm just curious for you to, you know, help our listeners understand why you wrote your book and what you hope that readers out there might take away from it.

0:05:38.9 NW: Yeah, you know, I am really at this stage of my career really feel like, you know, one of the reasons that I, and I think a lot of scholars and social scientists in particular go into doing research is because we care about justice and change and having an impact on the world. And so, I really try to think about, well, how can I bring not just my own research, but research in general to the public, to kind of, to people's attention and so that we can have better conversations. And so this book was, you know, if I'm honest, there was an editor who asked me to write this book and it was like, I've talked about it as, you know, when you're, when someone asks you on a date and you don't say yes, but you don't say no, it was like that. Like I never told him no, but I never said, I mean, it took me a while to say yes. And finally, you know, when I really felt like I had something to say and to add to the conversation was when I said yes. And then when, you know, when the US Supreme court took on this case, it kind of really kind of fast tracked that. I was like, okay, I need to get this done now.

0:06:45.7 NW: Because I felt like so much of how we talked about affirmative action, just assumed that there was a kind of one best way of admitting students that would just take the "best young people" in these competitive processes. And I really felt like that was the wrong way to think about college admissions in general and affirmative action was getting caught up in that. And so I really wanted to change the way people think about affirmative action, fairness and college admissions in general through the argument that I make in the book. And then along the way, I also just wanted to create a primer on affirmative action. It's funny now because of the Supreme court case, I have three kids and two of them have come home in the last few weeks and they're like, Oh, we talked about affirmative action in school today. And you know, there's a part of me that's like, can I give your teacher a copy of my book? [laughter] Sign it, and I tried to write it in very simple, plain language that, I think a high school student certainly could understand to break down, well, what are the arguments that people make for and against it?

0:07:57.7 NW: And what is the data, you know, going back to that question about data, what does the research tell us about these questions? What do we already know? So it's not just like, I have this opinion and it's based on nothing, but like, let me look at the evidence and then see what I think. And along the way, I also, again, try to, so, you know, both present those arguments, but then make... Say that, actually we need to rethink how we talk about college admissions. This is not a, you know, we should stop thinking about it as an individual certification of merit that we're kind of lining all these 18-year-olds up from "best" to "worst." And we're taking the top ones. And if one of them says they don't want to come, we go down the list. That's not really how college admissions works and it's not how it should work. And could we even do that if we wanted to? Like, what does that mean? Because there are so many different kinds of things that colleges are looking for. We have so many different kinds of strengths among us.

0:08:57.4 NW: And there's so many amazing eight, young 18-year-olds out there. And to try to say you deserve this and you don't, to me that does that sort of a problematic way of looking at it because, I think anyone, like so many people are deserving, but there's not enough space for the amount of people who want to study at these universities.

0:09:20.6 WL: Yeah. Take us through that last comment. There's not enough space or there's not a lot of space in those universities. What universities are we talking about? I know that, you know, in this conversation, especially your point talking about how there's so much nuance and multifaceted approach to how selection happens in the higher ed enrollment space. I think giving more access to this allows for everyone or anyone who is supporting students in this process to understand that this is an actual profession. You know, this is a profession in which individuals are helping to make those decisions to help reflect that institution student population. Correct. And so as we talk about this, it is very rare that people see the depth of the way that admissions officers or enrollment leaders are engaging in this work and that there are policies associated with their work. I think sometimes people see it more as like a popcorn experience, you know, it's just, here's one student and we're going to take them or, oh, this is a burnt popcorn. So I'm not sure if this is the one that, you know, we want to select, but there might be a purpose here.

0:10:30.6 WL: And so, yeah, walk us through, you know, what colleges are we talking about or universities in this context because there is this conversation of who is truly going to be influenced or impacted significantly by this potential decision.

0:10:46.9 NW: Yeah, great. I'm so glad you asked that question, Wenie, because the reality is that most colleges in the United States are not practicing affirmative action because most are not selective. Right. So there's only a little over 200 colleges that don't admit anyone who has a high school degree. So most colleges are open admissions and, you know, of the thousands of colleges that exist in the United States. So most students are not going to a college that is selective. Right. So we have to always keep that in mind. And among those, even the selective colleges that do exist, it's just a small percentage that are admitting, you know, less than, say less than half of their applicants. So, you know, Harvard and UNC are part of this trial in the US Supreme Court, but they're very unusual. Harvard's admit rate is like, I don't know what it is, like less than 5%. UNC I think is 20%. That's very unusual. That is a very small number of colleges. And so you, and you, of course, you're only making selection decisions when you have more people applying than you have space for. And so those are the only places that we're talking about.

0:12:00.7 NW: And then even, you know, I think you're right, there's this whole profession of college admissions counselors and part of their job in most places is to recruit students. Right. And that's how you shape a student body is outreach. And I mean, you've been doing this work, so you know about this, right? It's about like letting students know under students who are underrepresented on your college who don't know anybody who has either gone to college or going to that college or gone to a four-year college to say, hey, you might look, based on your grades, you might think about coming here and here's what you could do. And here's what this would get you. And here's how you might be able to afford this. Right. Here's what financial aid is like, here's what you would need to do. And so I think that's a lot, that's actually probably more of a college admissions work than this system of, we have 20 students applying for one spot in our college, which is a very different kind of job, even though they're both called college admissions counselors. So I'm really glad that you brought that up that, you know, it varies a lot depending on which college we're talking about.

0:13:06.4 WL: Absolutely. In my experience, I have worked at two selective institutions, one highly selective and one selective. And what's unique about selective institutions is that they do often talk about a holistic process. And so this is where we do get into this conversation about race-based evaluation, because when you're looking at a holistic approach, you want to take different elements and consider that, but there is no rule or regulation on which identifiers are weighted more in the process. And so on the contrary, we always talk about testing and that we are informing institutions to realize that, you know, testing shouldn't be the end all be all in your decision making. But here we are having a conversation about those who are eventually making that decision. And is that decision fully weighted on race as students are disclosing to you as an institution. So it is very complicated. You know, you want individuals or students to be able to say, not only am I this race or ethnicity, but there are so many other elements to who I am as an individual. And I would only hope that colleges embrace letting students share those multifaceted aspects rather than the prioritization maybe of race and academics.

0:14:24.8 WL: When we talk about testing in the way that we've seen that it could be a disadvantage or that's what's arguing at this current moment as we think about this affirmative action case. So I really appreciate you answering this question because it's also helping us to think about, you know, what we talked about in this last week. We were talking about your book and you mentioned that the central question of your title is actually the wrong question to be asking, which caught me by surprise. So Natasha, what do you mean by that?

0:15:00.1 NW: So the title is Affirmative Action Fair. We had a lot of discussion about, well, you know, I kept saying to my editor, I don't think this is the right question. And he said, well, you can say that in the book, but let's stick with the title. So I eventually agreed to that. And the reason I think it's the wrong question is because it takes an individualist approach, right? It treats college admissions as, you know, as we are looking at each of you as individuals and deciding, are we evaluating you each in relation to each other in a fair process, right? That's not how it works, right? And other countries, they do have, your score on a national exam determines whether or not you get in, whether you can study a particular subject. That's a very different kind of system. In the US, as you mentioned, we have holistic admissions. And it's not about, again, ranking and sorting and an individual meritocracy. It's about, as it should be, about this holistic look and trying to create a class, right? So the justification that has been allowed in court has been for affirmative action is that it helps to create a diverse learning and student body and a diverse learning environment in which everyone benefits.

0:16:11.8 NW: And in the book, I talk about how what I think colleges need to do is sort of go back to first principles. What are we doing? What are our goals as an institution? And most colleges and four-year colleges in the United States talk about teaching. They talk about research and they talk about contributing to society. And if we think about those contributions to society in particular, you know, it becomes clear that having, you know, being part of creating a diverse leadership, because we know that students at these elite colleges go on, often go on to become leaders in society, to creating opportunities, which also, if we think about wanting to have a society in which people can have, to have a fair shot at some kind of social mobility or being part of these institutions, for all of these reasons, it seems clear that affirmative action fits with kind of institutional mission. And that that's really the question that we should be asking. And so just, and I think that that's really important that we need to stop treating this as if, you know, and the implicit, you know, is affirmative action fair?

0:17:24.3 NW: The critique, which I think is a problematic critique, is that, oh, well, it's not quote, it's "not fair to white students or to Asian American students." And again, I think that's the wrong way to think about it. We need to think about, does affirmative action help further college mission? And I think when we think about diverse leadership, again, the learning environment, even being, even when we think about teaching, and I talk about this in the book, when we think about the goal of teaching in colleges, is very unclear why we try to take the academically strongest students and put them in the most resourced elite colleges, right, which is what we do. And academics, of course, is not the only thing, but everything being equal, we try to take students with the highest GPA, the highest SAT score that you can, right. And of course, there's the, you know, the higher status colleges have the lowest admit rates and have the most resources to pour into their students’ education. But when we think about this, maybe those high-status places should be reserved for students who are the lowest achieving because they could benefit the most from the resources that the colleges have, right.

0:18:44.0 NW: Where are those students who perhaps have not had as many educational opportunities or for whatever reasons that are going on in their lives have not learned as much in high school? Where are they going if they go to college? They go to, they tend to go to community college. And those community colleges are severely under resourced. And, you know, over the past few decades, we have divested from our community colleges from our state schools, state funding for the flagship university, all those state universities have gone way down. And so, but those are the places, those are the engines of social mobility. So why, if we think about like a Harvard or a Tufts or a UNC, maybe those places should, because they have the resources to actually bring students up to speed in a way that is much harder to do when you have fewer resources. So again, you know, I think that thought experiment forces us to contend with what are we trying to do and how does admission, like, what is the point of selecting the students who are already the highest achieving into these highly resourced places?

0:19:56.4 WL: Absolutely. Natasha, there are so many great moments and points that you made in your response. And one that generally stood out to me is talking about an institution's mission. Oftentimes, an institution is profoundly proud of their mission. That's who they are. That sets the standard for who they want to be, who do they want to become. But then you might see some discrepancies of, you know, is this mission fully aligning with the recruitment process, the enrollment process? And here we're learning about the challenges that exist in what does your mission actually saying and is your enrollment and your recruitment satisfying or elevating your mission? And I think oftentimes too, there are multiple institutions that focus on including this specific word, diverse. And you know, in the recent hearing, you know, it was notable that the Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, during the hearing asked this question of what is the definition of diversity? And so I'm sure many people are just like, okay, well, we have an answer, but in reality, what is really the true meaning of diverse or a diverse population, diverse learning in a higher education context?

0:21:16.3 WL: And maybe the second question is where does diverse go in a world where there might be a decision that upends what we know about affirmative action? Any thoughts there about, you know, how institutions should be perceiving this word or maybe re-evaluating what this word might look like in their mission moving forward?

0:21:37.5 NW: Yeah, that's great. You know, I will say, Justice Thomas, as I listened to him ask over and over again, well, I don't know what diversity means. It was a little, that's a little disingenuous, like, yes you do know what it means. And, you know, look like I, I mean, even the US Supreme Court when President Biden said, I'm going to appoint a black woman to the court, and that is diversity, right? He recognized that diversity, you know, our identities shape our lived experiences which then shape our understanding of the law. And, you know, to her, I mean, I will say that in that hearing, Justice Jackson, she made, her perspective was so clarifying. And I think that her, you know, her, obviously her expertise and her intellectual prowess like, you know, were clear, but also her own lived experience, I think was part of that. And I think that's very clear. And so I hope that Justice Thomas appreciates that that diversity on the court and in his own work and, you know, and also diversity of like, you know, he's a black man with very conservative views and that there are, you know, there is diversity among black Americans as well, of course.

0:23:02.3 NW: And that is, you know, that is part of diversity too. And so I think diversity, I think the way that diversity has come to be talked about in college admissions has been kind of shaped by the US Supreme Court, the 1978 Bakke decision in which Justice Powell said, well, you can, you could consider race in college admissions through a holistic process, as long as it's not like a quota, if you are doing it in order to create a diverse learning environment, right? Which is to say that everybody benefits because there's a diversity of perspectives in the classroom and the dorm and everyone's worldview gets expanded through that, including white students. And I think today that would also apply to Asian Americans who are in much smaller numbers in the 1970s. And so I think that's the way it gets used. And actually, you know, it's funny because in my book, the diversity bargain, which came out in 2016. Like two weeks after the Trump, Trump was elected. I actually critique this language of diversity because what I found in interviews with students on Ivy League College campuses was that among white students, there was this sort of implicit expectations of their peers who are Black and Latinx and Native American, because it was like, well, if affirmative action is there to create a diverse learning environment, which I support, and most of them did support it, then I don't understand why are they all sitting together in the cafeteria?

0:24:34.4 NW: And, of course, not noticing like the other tables of like white students who are also segregated. And there was an expectation that those underrepresented minority students would always integrate into the predominantly white spaces that were, that largely made up their campus. Right. And so, and there were other, you know, then there was this also belief that like, if affirmative action "went too far," then it was like, what they described as like reverse discrimination. So there were all these problems with only talking about racial diversity in terms of this language of diversity. And then Trump was elected, and then the Supreme Court changed. And I feel like now we're even just worried about losing this diversity rationale even, right? When, you know, I think we, my wish is that we are able to talk much more about justice, about equity in ways that just seem to be off the table right now in the US Supreme Court. And so, so yeah, let me stop there. I've asked about the word diversity. I call it a diversity bargain.

0:25:41.0 WL: Well, I mean, it's just such an important conversation here. I think it is often that one has this assumption, excuse me, but an explicit assumption, like you said, that race is the central focus of diversity. And I think back to the moments when I was a recruiter myself and standing at a table representing my institution and at a diverse high school, because there are some high schools when we think about diversity that are homogeneously a single race. And so there is that component as well. But say I'm at that high school doing a fair and the students come up to my table. And the first question is how diverse is your institution? Sometimes I would challenge the student to ask him or ask them, you know, what do you mean by diversity? What are you particularly looking for? Oftentimes it would be students saying, you know, I am looking to understand, is this a predominantly white institution as I identify as a person of color? I'm trying to figure out if this is a place that I will have a sense of belonging. Whereas when I'm working with our college partners, I help them think beyond race and ethnicity because we understand that there are racial undertones even in the way that we talk about admission.

0:26:56.0 WL: So I ask institutions to think about this concept of first generation students because it doesn't have to focus on race. Socioeconomic status doesn't have to focus on race. Neurodiversity also doesn't have to focus on race. And so how can we start having more of an equitable language towards diversity that helps not only the students who are seeking to go to college, understand diversity, but also the institution so that they can think about being prideful of that diversity of thought. How is diversity of thought reflected in race? Like ask those questions in terms of saying, does this reflect back to diversity? Does this reflect back to race and ethnicity? Because sometimes we like to correlate specific entities or representations of an individual to their race or to their lived experience. But I think we can separate it a little bit more and be more intentional. But I recognize one of the challenges with enrollment in highly selective institutions is that the admissions process is a fast process. It's highly cyclical. And so as you think about the pace of doing the work and being intentional about the work that can also intervene with the process of selection.

0:28:10.8 WL: And so as I think about this next question, I want to talk about bias because the selectivity piece here is what ultimately leads to this decision making, which ultimately helps us realize that race can be part of that decision making for some institutions. And so what do you think, or what do you believe that bias, what role bias plays in this conversation about selection for students who are considering some of these highly selective institutions?

0:28:44.1 NW: So do you mean bias in terms of like the decision makers and how they're sort of, yeah. Yeah, I mean, I...

0:28:49.8 WL: Yes, unconscious bias, just thinking about, you know, who is evaluating the student and actually making that decision versus the recruiter. Sometimes the recruiter can also be the decision maker at some of these highly selective institutions, but bias can play a role here. So what do you think to the extent bias can play a role in this decision making?

0:29:11.9 NW: Yeah, I mean, so it would hard, it would be hard for me to believe that bias doesn't play a role because we know from the research on implicit racial bias that implicit racial bias is pretty rampant. And a lot of that research is looking at black white bias, but there's some newer research on Asian Americans, like other racial groups as well. And so, I wrote this paper with some colleagues who were social psychologists and we named it, that was about teachers. And we named it, teachers are people too, right? That like, and admissions officers are people too. So there's no reason to think that they would be any less biased than the general population where we see these patterns. And I think the potential for anti-Asian kind of bias in that, that personal rating was in the news a lot. And I, you know, I believe that there could be something there. It's not my biggest concern because of the numbers, but I think it's something that colleges need to look at. But I think what was missing in that conversation is, you know, there's probably anti-black bias, anti-working class bias in these decisions as well.

0:30:27.8 NW: Maybe those get compensated for through affirmative action, but, you know, it's hard to believe that they don't exist. I just want to say one last thing though, about what you said earlier, because I think that's really important about thinking about diversity. I hope that like people don't lose this irony that all of these things that colleges do that do tend to privilege white applicants, like athletic recruiting, like legacy admissions, all kinds, you know, private schools tend to see, have a leg up because they have relationships with admissions officers. All of these things are not subject to, you know, what's legally called strict scrutiny, right? So colleges are allowed to do those things, even if they're found to favor white students over all students of color. And, but race, ironically, we have laws in place to protect, that were put in place to protect African Americans given our horrible history of racial exclusion, slavery, racial segregation, are now being used to limit compensation for the ongoing impact of those policies. And Ketanji Brown Jackson, coming back to Judge Jackson, she said it so well in the UNC case, where she was like, you know, are you telling me, she said to the plaintiff that a person who was like, says to the admissions office, I'm fifth generation, you know, five generations of men, because it used to be only men in my family went to this university, and I want to honor their legacy by being admitted.

0:32:02.6 NW: And you have a similar student with a similar kind of, you know, CV, but who is African American and says, my family has lived in North Carolina for five generations. My ancestors were not allowed to go to this university because of racial segregation. I would like you to honor their legacy. I would like to honor their legacy by being the first one in my family to go to this college. And she said, are you telling me that the former is okay, and not the latter? And he said, yes. And to me, that is just so symbolic of like, what are we doing here? We're saying that this is okay, but that is not okay. And I think when she put it like that, it becomes so clear that, you know, it's not that like, if you end race based affirmative action, all those other things are still going to exist. Right. And so I think, again, I just don't want people to lose that irony of like, ending the, excluding the one thing that has, you know, that has actually been a source of racial exclusion in college admissions.

0:33:03.0 WL: Absolutely. You are just spot on, Natasha, in your evaluation of this. And as we think forward, you know, for the listeners out there and our higher education enrollment leaders, in this last question, what should they be considering as they prepare for the ruling either way? We aren't experts, but we are doing this work in terms of identifying the potential solutions that could support institutions and their next policies and evaluations, et cetera. But what can we do in this moment? And what can you say to help encourage these institutions to start preparing for either direction in the ruling?

0:33:46.1 NW: Yeah. Well, first let me say, I don't think it's necessarily like a yes or a no ruling that we're going to get. There's probably going to be at least some kind of scaling back, if not a total, you know, we don't even know, like, what would that mean if you can't consider race? Like, are people not allowed to talk about race? And I don't think that's going to happen. And even the plaintiffs at the SFFA said, well, you know, no, someone could talk about how they've experienced racial discrimination or how their ethnic background has shaped their lived experience. And so I don't think there's going to be erasure of racial identity. But I think, you know, colleges need to think about, well, what are we trying to do? And what is our mission? And so, and really think broadly, like I, you know, I see the move away from the SAT as a positive move, right, that we're realizing, well, why are we considering this test? And what is this doing to our student body? But it's important to consider, well, what are we replacing it with? Right? If you're replacing it with, you know, were you on the crew team?

0:34:45.6 NW: Well, that's not, that's probably worse. I mean, not the crew team, but you know what I mean. And so I think that really thinking about what are we trying to do here? And think creatively about creating diversity. And I, you know, like, think about what neighborhood people live in. We need to do, the elites need to do a lot better with class diversity. And really kind of doubling down on that, thinking about people's lived experiences. And so I think there's other ways to consider, as you said, like diversity is not just race, all these other facets and build that into the application process and signal that as a value and think about selecting students on those bases as you think about wait, you know, the decision is going to happen in May or June. And then I know these admissions officers have to go to work that fall and be ready to implement whatever they're told.

0:35:37.5 WL: Yes, absolutely.

0:35:38.5 NW: So I don't envy people in that job right now. But I admire it.

0:35:45.3 WL: Yes, I mean, ultimately, they're doing great work, you know, access to education is just deeply important, especially for the students that we're talking about here, you know, and so for these highly selective institutions, you're right, they have to start thinking about narrative shifting. Narrative shifting is not a responsibility of the student, as I think a lot of this is played on, it's the student's responsibility to be able to either be so specific about their lived experience or their race and their ethnicity. But also these decision makers in the admissions world also need to be representative to help contextualize what they might be reviewing. And I think if we have more diverse admissions professionals, that can also help because contextually, we are able to do that, we are able to provide nuance. Bias doesn't always have to be a negative thing, it can be positive. And so how can we learn to embrace making our unconscious bias conscious, but then helping us to inform why are we making this decision to select a student or groupings of students.

0:36:50.6 WL: And so, Natasha, I could be talking to you for hours about this work, your work is deeply important. And I'm sure the students who get to engage with you are deeply thankful for your leadership and your education that you provide for them. But we're just about out of time. And where would you recommend our listeners go to learn more or better yet purchase your book, Is Affirmative Action Fair? The Myth of Equity in College Admissions.

0:37:16.6 NW: Well, first let me say the feeling is mutual. It's great talking to you and I really admire the work that you're doing at Greenlight and EAB as well. So thank you so much for having me. And folks, if folks want to read my book, Is Affirmative Action Fair? You can get it at bookshop.org, which supports independent bookstores. Obviously, it's on Amazon as well or Polity Press as well. And I will, maybe I'll send, we have a publisher's discount code and I'll send that to you so you can list that as well. So thank you for having me and for, to listeners out there for listening.

0:37:52.1 WL: Absolutely. Thank you for sharing that information of how our listeners can find and purchase your book. Additionally, for our listeners out there, EAB just recently published a blog post, the Supreme Court affirmative action hearing, a guide for the overwhelmed. So if you would like some additional resources and reading to engage with and have in addition to Natasha's book, feel free to do so. But thank you again, Natasha, for taking your time today to speak with us and join the EAB Office Hours podcast. We really appreciate you for this time.

0:38:29.1 NW: Thanks for having me.

0:38:37.3 Speaker 1: Thank you for listening. Please join us next week when we examine the problem of faculty burnout. Until next week. Thank you for your time.

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