The United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights opened an investigation into a medical scholarship offered by the University of California San Francisco Fresno (UCSF-Fresno) after a watchdog group claimed that it discriminated against students’ race and sex, according to documents obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The “UCSF Fresno Obstetrics and Gynecology Scholarship for Visiting [Underrepresented in Medicine] Students” scholarship is available to students who identify as LGBTQ+ or classify as a minority, its website states. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) agreed to investigate the scholarship on Dec. 8 after Mark Perry, Senior Fellow at Do No Harm, filed a complaint in September which claimed that the scholarship discriminated against candidates based on race and sex.
“To correct its violations of Title VI and Title IX would require that UCSF-Fresno open the scholarship to all medical school students and change the name to reflect that change in eligibility,” Perry told the DCNF.
The OCR agreed to take the case because it determined the complaint “has jurisdiction” and is “appropriate for investigation
under the laws and regulations enforced by OCR,” according to an OCR letter to Perry obtained by the DCNF.
In addition to civil rights law, Perry told the DCNF that the scholarship also violates California Constitution’s Declaration of Rights and the University of California’s statement of nondiscrimination, both of which prohibit discrimination based on race and sex.
He told the DCNF that the university is aware of the ongoing investigation.
The scholarship reimburses students’ expenses including student housing, $1,000 in transportation costs, application fees and tuition fees during their month-long UCSF-Fresno subinternship in the OB-GYN field, according to the application.
The application asks for students preferred pronouns, race provides the option to disclose sexual orientation.
UCSF-Fresno and the OCR did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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