Timothy Maguire, the Georgetown University law student reprimanded by the school for citing confidential admissions scores in a newspaper article that questioned the qualifications of black students, said yesterday the school's action is vindication against claims that he did anything wrong.
"I have never believed that I violated the Georgetown student disciplinary code, and have always believed that a full, fair disciplinary hearing would vindicate me," Maguire said at a news conference.
Maguire ignited a controversy last month with an article in the student-run Georgetown Weekly that described the academic credentials of white and black Georgetown law students as "dramatically unequal." He cited in the article a "random sample" of test scores and grade-point averages, which he said he obtained while working in the school's admissions office.
Numerous black and white students criticized that article, and Georgetown's Black Law Student Association called on the university to withhold Maguire's degree, saying that the article was racist and hurtful. School officials accused Maguire of violating the student disciplinary code by using confidential admissions data.
The school announced Monday that Maguire would receive a formal reprimand that would not become a part of his official transcript. The reprimand was part of an agreement reached by attorneys for Maguire and Georgetown.
Michael S. Greve, director of the Center for Individual Rights, a conservative legal group that represents Maguire, said the reprimand indicates the infraction was tantamount to "showing up late for work."
Despite calls from some students for a harsher penalty, Law Center Dean Judith Areen indicated that the reprimand was sufficient.
Maguire, who said the controversy has been "a terrible situation for everyone involved," yesterday reiterated his assertion that the ordeal was necessary to force public debate about questionable affirmative action practices, which he said Georgetown officials have been afraid to confront.
"It's painful not being politically correct," said Maguire, wearing a button on his lapel that said, "Anything you say can be distorted, remixed and used against you."