The United States Department of Education (DOE) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) opened an investigation Wednesday into the University of Kansas (KU) School of Medicine and the KU Medical Center after it received a complaint alleging it operates a racially discriminatory scholarship, medical watchdog group Do No Harm reported.
The DOE will investigate whether the school’s “Urban Scholars Program for Students Underrepresented in Medicine” violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits race-based discrimination, according to a letter sent to Do No Harm senior Fellow Mark Perry, who filed the complaint in August 2022. The scholarship is available to students who qualify as an “underrepresented” race which includes “Native American, Black or African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Cambodian, Laotian, or Vietnamese,” its website reads. (RELATED: California Medical School Investigated For Scholarship Which Allegedly Discriminates On The Basis Of Race, Sex)
“The Urban Scholars program at the University of Kansas system is yet another example of how academic medicine is promoting DEI ideology over merit,” Laura Morgan, Do No Harm program manager, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The members of the admissions committee at the KU School of Medicine need to refocus their priorities onto the selection of the most qualified applicants instead of engaging in practices that undermine the integrity of medical education.”
The scholarship program intends to recruit students from state urban areas to improve “the health challenges faced by their communities,” according to its website. Students who complete the program have “assured admission to the University of Kansas School of Medicine.”
During the program, students complete 200 shadow hours over four semesters and one summer, complete three patient case reports and take professional and personal development courses, the website reads. Students also regularly meet with mentors and Office of Diversity and Inclusion staff.
Perry said the program is “representative of the widespread discrimination taking place at almost every US medical school on the basis of race, color, and/or national origin,” Do No Harm reported.
The Office for Civil Rights has opened an investigation into illegal race-based discrimination at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. https://t.co/aGBh7mtKyr
— Do No Harm (@donoharm) January 26, 2023
“By emphasizing racial diversity over merit and academic ability for admission to the racially discriminatory Urban Scholars Program for Students Underrepresented in Medicine, KU School of Medicine is compromising its fundamental academic responsibilities to pursue instead an ideologically driven diversity agenda,” he said.
Morgan told the DCNF the medical watchdog expects the “Office for Civil Rights will remedy this instance of illegal racial discrimination at KU.”
The DOE and the KU School of Medicine did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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