The Department of Justice is investigating Harvard’s affirmative action policies and whether the university discriminates against Asian-American applicants, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The DOJ also accused the university of not cooperating with the department’s investigation into the school’s policies towards admitting students, The WSJ reported after obtaining documents on the matter. The Justice Department’s probe stems from a still-pending federal civil lawsuit filed in 2014 on behalf of a group of Asian-American students alleging Harvard discriminated against them by limiting the number of Asian students into the campus.
An attorney within the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division sent a Nov. 17 letter to a lawyer representing the university to tell him the school did not turn over the proper documents as requested by the original Nov. 2 deadline; the letter also mentions the school is being investigated under the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“Rather than provide the documents and materials that the Department requested, your letter again erroneously challenges our authority to investigate Harvard under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and proposes an unacceptable plan to provide the United States restricted access to limited documents,” the letter reads, while another letter adds that the school has until Dec. 1 to turn over the necessary documents or risk facing a lawsuit, according to The WSJ.
The DOJ previously posted a job opening for lawyers willing to investigate another 2015 complaint Asian American students filed that alleges racial bias in Harvard’s acceptance policies. Harvard has repeatedly argued that their policies are not biased against one group of students and that their process “considers each applicant as a whole person, and we review many factors.”
“As we have repeatedly made clear to the Department of Justice, the University will certainly comply with its obligations under Title VI. In the process, we have an obligation to protect the confidentiality of student and applicant files and other highly sensitive records, and we have been seeking to engage the Department of Justice in the best means of doing so,” a university spokesperson told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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