Harvard Medical School Abolishes Its Minority Subcommittee for Admissions

On the advice of legal counsel, Harvard Medical School has abolished an admissions subcommittee that only examined applications from minority students. The subcommittee, which has been in existence for 30 years, got the first look at applications from black, Hispanic, and American Indian students who applied to the medical school. The subcommittee could reject applications after initial consideration or forward the applications with recommendations to the full admissions committee. The chair of the subcommittee was a member of the admissions committee which made the final decision on all applicants.

The medical school received differing legal advice on the admissions procedure but decided in the end that a separate subcommittee for minority applications might raise a red flag that could create an opportunity for right-wing litigators to challenge the program in court.

In the future there will be four subcommittees, all based on geographic regions. Minority candidates will be evaluated along with white applicants in these subcommittees with the applications from the most qualified individuals passed on to the main admissions committee for the final decision.

Harvard Medical School officials were quick to point out that the abolishment of the minority subcommittee in no way altered the institution’s commitment to racial diversity.