The term “minority status” and how it was used by Harvard University made headlines last week, after a challenger to U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren criticized the Warren and Harvard for touting her Native American heritage.

Courtesy of the Boston Herald


The Boston Globe and Herald have been following the story.

The latest Globe story, by Stephanie Ebbert, reports that Warren has long been considered a “minority” law professor.

Warren’s challenger is calling for her to “come clean” about using the Native heritage to get a job. Just how much of a controversy should this be?

    Warren’s unexpected minority status sparked controversy last week, when the Boston Herald reported that the school had named her a minority professor in the 1990s at a time when the campus was facing criticism about preponderance of white men on the faculty.

    In a 1996 article, the Harvard Crimson quoted a Harvard Law School spokesman saying that the faculty of 71 included one Native American – Warren – in addition to a few black and Hispanic professors and 11 women.

    The claim was repeated in a later Crimson story that called Warren the first woman with a minority background to receive tenure.

    Warren, a Democrat who is challenging US Senator Scott Brown, does have Native American blood, her campaign said Friday.

    But when asked about it Friday, she told reporters that she did not know Harvard was promoting her as a minority professor.

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