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Christian Science Monitor featured Lubin Professor Andrew Coggins in "Will cruise industry recover? Some passengers yearn to reboard."

05/05/2020

Christian Science Monitor featured Lubin Professor Andrew Coggins in "Will cruise industry recover? Some passengers yearn to reboard."

“It’s not just the cruise ships. Are people willing to travel? Are people willing to go to restaurants? Movie theaters? If they’re not prepared to do those things then they’re not getting on cruise ships,” says Andrew Coggins, a professor of management at Pace University who studies the industry.

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"Christian Science Monitor" featured Pace Law Professor Bennett Gershman in "What the Mueller report is and isn't: The fog begins to lift"

04/19/2019

"Christian Science Monitor" featured Pace Law Professor Bennett Gershman in "What the Mueller report is and isn't: The fog begins to lift"

...But if nothing else, the Mueller report may serve as a narrative defense against the administration’s attacks on the special counsel’s character and motivation in particular, and on federal law enforcement in general. The report is careful, in-depth, and reflects a responsible approach, says Bennett Gershman, professor of law at Pace Law School in New York and a former prosecutor.

“So right away as I read it, it struck me that it’s just nonsensical to characterize this investigation and the findings – the factual findings – as a hoax, a witch hunt, irresponsible,” says Professor Gershman.

The release of the redacted Mueller report has been one of the most anticipated moments of the Trump presidency.

Attorney General William Barr held a press conference prior to the report being made public. He said Mr. Trump’s actions as described in its pages should be put in the context of a U.S. chief executive who fully believed he was innocent and was responding emotionally to what he thought was an unnecessary and political intrusion into his presidency.

Mr. Barr said Mr. Trump “took no act that in fact deprived the special counsel of the documents and witnesses necessary to complete his investigation,” and that Mr. Trump had “non-corrupt motives” for his actions.

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"Christian Science Monitor" featured Pace University's President Marvin Krislov in "Debating an evolving definition of ‘diversity’ on campus"

01/17/2019

"Christian Science Monitor" featured Pace University's President Marvin Krislov in "Debating an evolving definition of ‘diversity’ on campus"

Amid increased scrutiny after the Harvard case, college admissions officers cull the next round of candidates with an eye on all the different ways a student body can be ‘diverse.’

Contemplating new practices

Which is more distinguishing: test scores or what you represent? Should a student’s race, socioeconomic status, gender identity, political views, obstacles overcome – their “distance traveled,” in admissions-speak – all be treated as potential forms of merit? How can admissions officers, asks Ms. Smith, “be fair when you have all these competing and logical arguments for a place at the table, a place on campus, a voice being recognized and heard?”

A complicating factor this admissions season, she says, is that campuses are worrying that unhappy applicants could trigger “some level of scrutiny or legal challenge for how they admit students.” Some 40 years of case law have set rules for the use of race in admissions, but at colleges across the country, leaders wonder whether they need new practices if not new rules.

“It’s hard to argue that race and ethnicity is not important, but it is not the only form of diversity,” says Marvin Krislov, president of Pace University in New York. Colleges, he says, require “people of different viewpoints: religious diversity, urban, rural, economic, public school, private school.”

Mr. Krislov was vice president and general counsel at the University of Michigan in 2003 when the Supreme Court ruled in Gratz v. Bollinger that automatically awarding underrepresented minorities 20 points in admissions (out of 100 needed) was unconstitutional, because it “ensures that the diversity contributions of applicants cannot be individually assessed.” Racial bonus points, in other words, overwhelmed the larger goal of picking applicants based on individual qualities and accomplishments.

Yet admissions is always about more than the individual’s record. It matters, says Krislov, “how the person fits in relative to others.” What do they bring that is unique, yet enhances a community? A challenge specific to Harvard, says Julie Park, associate professor at the University of Maryland College of Education and author of “Race on Campus: Debunking Myths with Data,” is that Asian-Americans are raised such that “applying to Harvard, it’s in the Kool-Aid.”

That culturally embedded value, she says, means that Asian-Americans are “more likely to throw their hat in the ring whether they feel they are competitive or not.” It creates an applicant pool that is broader for Asian-American than for whites, who tend to apply only if very qualified.  

It can also produce “an underlying sense that a lot of these kids look similar on paper,” says Arun Ponnusamy, chief academic officer of Collegewise, a large private college counseling company, who has worked in admissions at the University of Chicago, the California Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Los Angeles. 

Mr. Ponnusamy, who graduated from the University of Chicago, says many Indian-American and Southeast Asian-American students like himself “played a lot of tennis, a lot of us played chess and a lot of us were No. 1 or 2 in our class.”

That sameness presents an admissions challenge. Ponnusamy has seen strong candidates (over his career, he has reviewed some 7,500 admissions files) sticking within familiar boundaries. Rather than presenting themselves as eager to take risks and wrestle with new ideas, many students seemed to “just want to go to a great school, get a great job, and have a nice life.”

Copying a formula for success is “where Asian kids get jammed up,” he says. Yet, such achievement takes tremendous effort, frustrating those who push themselves to check the right boxes only to find admissions more of a crapshoot than expected.

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"The Christian Science Monitor" featured Law Professor Darren Rosenblum in "Federal courts ask: What is the meaning of 'sex'?"

03/28/2018

"The Christian Science Monitor" featured Law Professor Darren Rosenblum in "Federal courts ask: What is the meaning of 'sex'?"

Existing prohibitions against discrimination 'because of sex,' already provide a civil rights umbrella wide enough to cover discrimination based on sexual orientation and transgender identity, some judges are beginning to say.

'Lack of clarity can prove expensive'

Corporate attorneys say most businesses have already instituted their own antidiscrimination policies. “But though many have adopted these, only voluntarily, the unevenness, the irregularity of anti-discrimination laws, I think is very challenging for the business community to grapple with,” says Darren Rosenblum, professor at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in New York. “So I think there is an imperative to clarify the law on this point. That’s what they need first and foremost, because the lack of clarity can prove expensive, figuring out which norms to follow.”

Even so, Eisenberg points out that given the ways in which the high court has redefined the meaning of sex in past precedents, today simple claims of “gender stereotyping” already covers most claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

“And if you’ve got people who are being discriminated against just because they’re not part of a protected characteristic, that’s just not good management,” Eisenberg says. “It’s not good for recruiting, it’s not good for maintaining employees, it’s not good all the way around.”

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