The United States Department of Education launched an investigation into Princeton University after its president acknowledged that racism has remained “ingrained” in the institution.
Trump administration officials on Wednesday addressed a letter to Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber about his recent comments on systematic racism.
The Department of Education (DOE) noted that Princeton University had received more than $ 75 million in federal funding, despite potentially not adhering to Title VI mandates.
“ No person in the United States may, for reasons of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation, be deprived of benefits, or be subject to discrimination in any program or activity that receives federal financial assistance, ”
Under that statute, federal officials said Eisgruber’s recognition led them to question the university’s commitment to non-discriminatory practices.
The U.S. Department of Education said this week that it launched an investigation into Princeton University after its president Christopher Eisgruber published an open letter against systematic racism
“On the basis of its admitted racism, the United States Department of Education (” Department “) is concerned that Princeton’s guarantees of non-discrimination and equal opportunity in its Program Participation Agreements from at least 2013 to present may have been false. “, the letter read.
“The department is further concerned that Princeton perhaps knew, or should have known, that these assurances were false at the time they were made.
“Finally, the Department is further concerned that Princeton’s numerous non-discrimination and equal opportunity claims against students, parents and consumers in the education certificate market may have been false, misleading and substantially misrepresentation of action.”
Subsequently, the DOE could force Princeton University to repay the millions of dollars raised over the years.
The DOE, headed by United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, also requested additional documents and transcribed interviews with select individuals.
On September 2, Eisgruber posted an open letter on the Princeton University website discussing efforts to combat systematic racism.
The letter was intended to draw attention to the initiatives implemented at Princeton University to dispel racial inequality.
On September 2, Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber (pictured) wrote in an open letter that “even the racist assumptions of the past remain embedded in the University’s own structures.”
The letter read: “ Racism and the harm it causes to people of color persist in Princeton as well as in our society, sometimes by conscious intention but more often through unexamined assumptions and stereotypes, ignorance or insensitivity and the systemic past decisions and policies.
“Race-based inequalities in America’s health, police, education and employment systems profoundly affect the lives of our staff, students and faculty of color.
“Even the racist assumptions of the past remain embedded in the structures of the University itself.”
The letter offered an example of systematic racism at the institute, such as “Princeton inherits from previous generations at least nine departments and programs organized around European languages and culture, but only a single, relatively small program of African studies.”
Princeton University has in the past recognized its participation in racism, starting in 1746 when it was founded as the College of New Jersey.
“The first nine presidents of the university all owned slaves, a slave sale took place on campus in 1766 and enslaved people lived at the President’s House until at least 1822. A professor owned a slave until 1840,” according to the website of Princeton University.
US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos (pictured) answers questions following a visit to Forsyth Central High School in Cumming, Georgia
Following the DOE’s announcement, Princeton University released a statement dismissing the agency’s allegations.
“It is unfortunate that the Department appears to believe that honestly wrestling with the nation’s history and the current effects of systemic racism conflicts with existing law,” the statement read.
“The University disagrees and looks forward to furthering our educational mission by explaining why our statements and actions are consistent not only with the law but also with the highest ideals and aspirations of this country.”
The statement also strengthened the institution’s stance regarding systematic racism and defended Eisgruber’s mention of racism in school.
“The University also supports our statements about the prevalence of systemic racism and our commitment to deal with its continuing effects, including the racial injustices and race-based injustices that persist in American society.” law.
Under the Trump administration, experts told the New York Times that this latest investigation suggested a move by conservative politicians to stop race-based college admissions.
As noted by the New York Times, this DOE investigation is the latest in a series of obstacles raised at Ivy Leagues by the Trump administration.
Experts told NYTimes the decisions were likely an extension of the GOP’s efforts to stop race-based college admissions.
The United States Department of Justice in August accused Yale University of breaking federal laws by discriminating against Asian-Americans and White Americans.
As a result, the DOJ was asked to stop looking at race or national origins when considering admission. The Justice Department threatened a lawsuit if Yale University did not comply, but the school refused earlier this week.
Yale University argued that its admissions policies were in line with federal law.