Papers shed light on Mass. Senate hopeful's record
- Article by: STEVE LeBLANC
- Associated Press
- May 10, 2012 - 7:53 PM
BOSTON - Records show that the leading Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts identified her race as "white" on an employment record at the University of Texas and declined to apply for admission to Rutgers Law School under a program for minority students.
The records on Elizabeth Warren were obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday. Warren's heritage has been under scrutiny after it surfaced that she had listed herself as having Native American heritage in law school directories.
Warren's campaign said the records reinforce her earlier statements that she never relied on a claim of minority status to get teaching jobs. She has criticized the campaign of Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown for suggesting that might be the case.
A third document obtained by the AP Thursday indicated that the University of Pennsylvania, where Warren also worked, identified her as a minority professor.
Brown has called on Warren to release all law school applications and personnel files from the universities where she taught.
Warren worked at the University of Texas from 1983 to 1987, when she took a job at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
A report by a committee established to review the status of minority faculty at the University of Pennsylvania identifies Warren as a minority, however, without elaborating.
The new documents paint a fuller picture of Warren's law school record.
On the Rutgers application, Warren wrote "No" in response to the question: "Are you interested in applying for admission under the Program for Minority Group Students?"
Warren graduated from Rutgers in 1976.
On a personnel file from the University of Texas, Warren checked the box "White" when asked to select "the racial category or categories with which you most closely identify."
The categories included a box for "American Indian or Alaska Native," which Warren did not check.
Another document that surfaced Thursday is a 2005 report by a committee established to review the status of minority faculty at the University of Pennsylvania.
The report by the university's Minority Equity Committee includes a list of faculty members who worked at the school. Warren worked there as a law professor until 1995, when she left to take a job at Harvard Law School.
The report listed the names of minorities in bold and italics, and Warren's was included among those names. It indicated that Warren had won a teacher award at the school, and that only eight of the 112 awards give out during a 13-year span had gone to minority teachers.
Warren's campaign said the records from Rutgers and Texas bolster her argument that she was able to land a job at Harvard Law School in 1995 based on hard work and achievement, not claims of Native American heritage.
"At every law school where Elizabeth was recruited to teach, it has been made absolutely clear she was hired based on merit; on her accomplishments and ability," Warren spokeswoman Alethea Harney said in a statement Thursday.
"Documents from the college and law school from which she graduated show that Elizabeth did not seek special treatment by acknowledging her Native American heritage," Harney added.
Brown has said serious questions have been raised about Warren's claims to Native American ancestry and whether it was appropriate for her to assume minority status as a college professor, and that Warren should settle those questions by authorizing the release of her law school applications and all personnel files from the various universities where she has taught.
Harvard Law School professor Charles Fried has said that any suggestion that Warren enjoyed an affirmative action advantage in her hiring as a full professor is "false" and that Warren was recruited because of her expertise in bankruptcy and commercial law.
A Massachusetts genealogist said he uncovered evidence that Warren's great-great-great grandmother had listed herself as Cherokee in an 1894 document. That would make Warren a 1/32nd American Indian.
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