Biden Admin Opens Slew Of Investigations Into Multiple Universities For Allegedly Racist, Discriminatory Programs

(Photo by Nic Coury / AFP) (Photo by NIC COURY/AFP via Getty Images)

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Alexa Schwerha Contributor
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The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) opened federal investigations into four universities this week in response to complaints filed by medical watchdog Do No Harm (DNH), according to the organization.

The OCR will investigate Wake Forest University (WFU), the University of Virginia (UVA), the University of Rochester (UR) and Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) for alleged civil rights violations, Do No Harm reported. Senior Fellow Mark Perry filed a joint complaint against WFU and UVA, alleging the institutions used school resources to partner with an organization whose activities violate Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, while Program Manager Laura Morgan violated complaints against UR and TJU for allegedly participating in programs that violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (RELATED: Medical School Under Federal Investigation Over Its Allegedly Racist Scholarship Program)

“With OCR opening four investigations in one week based on our filings, it’s apparent that the problem of discriminatory scholarships and fellowships in our medical schools is widespread,” Do No Harm told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Do No Harm will continue to submit complaints to OCR when programs that discriminate on the basis of race/ethnicity or sex/gender are discovered, and we are looking forward to a favorable resolution of these four cases.”

WFU and UVA both use school resources to work with The Perry Initiative, which offers two programs that Do No Harm alleges violates Title IX’s protection against sex-based discrimination. The Perry Initiative offers its Medical Student Outreach Program for female “identifying” and non-binary students to introduce them to the Orthopaedic Surgery field, and its Perry Outreach Program has the same requirements for high school students interested in orthopaedic surgery or engineering.

Perry’s complaint listed twelve universities that partner with the Perry Initiative. Each institution used resources to “advertise, promote, host, and partner” with the third-party organization, he alleged.

UR and TJU both promote programs that violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race, Morgan alleged in her complaints.

UR’s Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) – Up To Medicine program is state-funded and aims to spark high school students’ interest in health care fields by giving them the opportunity to work with medical professionals and graduate students to gain academic and professional development opportunities, its website reads. The program is open to students from an “underrepresented group” or who are “economically disadvantaged.”

The Summer Training & Enrichment Program for Underrepresented Persons in Medicine (STEP-UP), promoted by TJU, is available to underrepresented students who have completed two years of college, according to its website. The program is advertised through the university’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives.

Eligible students must be Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander or Vietnamese, according to the application.

“It’s clear that there continue to be many medical education institutions that engage in discriminatory practices with programs that violate longstanding federal civil rights laws,” Do No Harm wrote. “We look forward to the OCR’s investigations resulting in making the offerings at these four universities available for all students – regardless of race or sex.”

WFU, UVA, UR, TJU and the DOE did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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