Only one member of the faculty at Harvard Law School is listed on its diversity census report as Native American. Officials from the school and aides from the campaign of Elizabeth Warren both refuse to declare if that faculty member refers to the candidate for the Senate. Warren has repeatedly been criticized for using her claims of Cherokee lineage to lengthen her career. She insists that she did not authorize the school to list her as Native American in the middle of the 1990s, which is when the school came under fire for not employing enough minority professors.
From the years of 1986 to 1995, Warren listed herself in a law school directory as a minority. The directory was used by law school administrators as a tip sheet when they needed to hire diverse employees. In 1996, when Harvard Law began bragging that Warren was the school’s first minority female, she was no longer showing up in the directory. The diversity report for Harvard Law in 2011 does not mention who the Native American professor is and did not say if it is Warren.
Alethea Harney, a spokeswoman for Warren, issued the following statement:
“Elizabeth has been straightforward and open about her heritage while the people who recruited her have made it clear it was because of her extraordinary skill as a teacher and a ground-breaking scholar.”
The report from 2011 tells readers that ‘Race/Ethnicity designations are from self-report data.’ This means that anyone listed in the report as Native American would have told the school of their background. In a 1999 Harvard Magazine article, Robert C. Clark, is named as part Choctaw. Clark is a professor and former dean of the Harvard Law School. Clark has been employed by the school since 1989 but was not mentioned in 1996 when the school tried to defend its minority employees and hires.
In the 1996 article, former law school spokesperson, Mike Chmura, said that of the 71 professors at the school, one of them was Native American. That one person was Warren. It has been discovered that Warren’s great-great-great-grandmother is Cherokee. This makes Warren 1/32 Native American.