The Departments of Education and Justice opened an investigation into Yale University on Wednesday, reacting to a complaint that Yale racially discriminates against Asian-Americans in its admissions process.
Plaintiffs originally submitted complaints that Yale, Brown University and Dartmouth College all discriminated against Asian-American applicants during their admissions processes, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. The Education Department dismissed the allegations against Brown and Dartmouth, however, saying the plaintiff — the Asian American Coalition for Education — had not provided adequate evidence of wrongdoing. Yale denies any wrongdoing, however.
“Yale does not discriminate in admissions against Asian Americans or any other racial or ethnic group, to share information about our undergraduate admissions practices, and to affirm our unwavering commitment to diversity as a pillar of this university,” Yale President Peter Salovey said in a statement provided to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The creation of a diverse academic community has not come at the expense of applicants of any racial or ethnic background.”
The DOJ Civil Rights Division and the Department of Education Civil Rights Office had already opened a joint probe into Yale separate from the Harvard investigation in April.
“The Department of Justice takes extremely seriously any potential violation of an individual’s constitutional rights,” spokeswoman Kelly Laco told TheWSJ.
The DOJ filed a legal brief in late August supporting a similar complaint against Harvard over its race-conscious admissions policies, which they say discriminate against Asian applicants.
“No American should be denied admission to school because of their race,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement attending the brief’s filing. “As a recipient of taxpayer dollars, Harvard has a responsibility to conduct its admissions policy without racial discrimination by using meaningful admissions criteria that meet lawful requirements. The Department of Justice has the responsibility to protect the civil rights of the American people.” (RELATED: Meet The Asian-Americans Defending Harvard From Racial Discrimination Charges)
Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), the plaintiff in the Harvard case, alleges that Harvard assigns more or less value to a student’s application depending on the applicant’s race, a practice they allege harms Asian-Americans. The U.S. Supreme Court banned colleges from setting up racial quotas for students, but the SFFA and now the DOJ allege Harvard is not in compliance.
“Substantial evidence further shows that, with this elusory use of race, Harvard engineers its admissions process to produce an admitted class that replicates its desired racial balance year in and year out,” the DOJ brief read.
“Our admissions policies encourage diversity, respect the law, and do not discriminate against anyone,” Harvard stated on Twitter following the August filing. “This lawsuit brought by Edward Blum and SFFA could eliminate the freedom of every college to provide the best education possible.”
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