Harvard University isn’t the only one of Elizabeth Warren’s employers to have described her as a minority; so did the University of Pennsylvania.
According to Penn’s 2005 “Minority Equity Report,” it too identified Warren, who taught there from 1987 to 1995, as a minority.
On page 16 of the report, the now-Massachusetts Senate candidate is listed as a winner of the school’s Lindback Award in 1994. Unlike other names listed, though, her name is italicized and bolded to indicate her status as a minority faculty member.
It’s the first indication to date of another one of Warren’s employers having listed her as a minority.
The Senate candidate in recent weeks has struggled to respond to a series of questions about why Harvard listed her as a Native American.
Warren has said her family history suggests she is 1/32nd Cherokee, and that she’s proud of that heritage. But she has also said she didn’t know how she came to be identified as a minority at Harvard.
Warren identified herself as a minority in professional directories during her tenure at Penn but stopped doing so around the time she took a job at Harvard in the mid-1990s. Still, some at Harvard identified her as a minority faculty members in the following years.
The question, then, is whether Penn identified her as a minority based on those directories or something else. Republicans argue that perhaps Warren identified herself as a minority to her employers in order to curry favor.
Warren spokeswoman Alethea Harney says the Penn revelation doesn’t change the fact that Warren has never sought to gain from her minority status.
“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,” Harney said. “Republican Scott Brown continues to feed an ugly story with nasty insinuations simply to distract attention first, from his million-dollar tax returns, then his millions in Wall Street contributions, and now his bad voting record on student loans – all demonstrating he’s not on the side of working families.”
In addition, a Penn professor previously provided a statement saying that Warren did not receive any benefits based on her heritage.
“Her appointment was based on the excellence of her scholarship and teaching,” said Stephen Burbank, who was acting dean of Penn’s law school in 1995. “I do not know whether members of the faculty were even aware of her ancestry, but I am confident that it played no role whatsoever in her appointment.”
Warren has said she only did so in the directories in order to connect with other minority faculty.
Brown this week called on her to release all of her employment documentation in order to clear the air about the situation.
In other news, the Boston Globe reports that Warren’s documents from her time at the University of Texas in the 1980s show she did not identify herself as a minority.