The US Department of Education opened an investigation by Princeton University after its president recognized that racism is still “embedded” 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 received more than $ 75 million in federal funding, even though it may not meet Title VI mandates.
“No one in the United States should be excluded from participating in a federally funded program or activity that is denied or discriminated against because of race, color, or national origin.”
Under one such bill, federal officials claimed that Eisgruber’s recognition led them to question the university’s commitment to non-discriminatory practices.
The U.S. Department of Education announced this week that it opened an investigation into Princeton University after its President Christopher Eisgruber published an open letter against systematic racism
“Because of its admitted racism, the Department of Education (” Department “) is concerned that Princeton’s non-discrimination and equal opportunity promises in its program participation agreements from at least 2013 to date may have been wrong, the letter said.
The department is also concerned that Princeton may have known or should have known that these representations were false at the time they were made.
“Finally, the division remains concerned that Princeton’s numerous non-discrimination and equal opportunity claims against students, parents and consumers in the Education Certification market were potentially false, misleading and actionable significant misrepresentations.”
Subsequently, the DOE could force Princeton University to repay the millions of dollars it has raised over the years.
The DOE, led by US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, also requested additional documents and transcribed interviews with selected people.
On September 2, Eisgruber posted an open letter on Princeton University’s website discussing efforts to combat systematic racism.
The letter was intended to draw attention to initiatives being implemented at Princeton University to eradicate racial inequality.
Christopher Eisgruber, President of Princeton University (pictured), wrote in an open letter on September 2nd that “racist assumptions from the past are still embedded in the structure of the university itself”.
The letter read: “Racism and the harm it does to people of color persists in Princeton as it does in our society, sometimes through conscious intent, but more often through untested assumptions and stereotypes, ignorance or insensitivity and the systemic legacy of past decisions and policies.
‘Racial inequalities in American health, police, education, and employment systems have a profound impact on the lives of our employees, students, and color schools.
“Racist assumptions from the past also remain embedded in the structures of the university itself.”
The letter provided an example of systematic racism at the institution, such as “Princeton inherits from previous generations at least nine departments and programs dealing with European languages and culture, but only one, relatively small program for African studies.”
Princeton University has recognized its involvement in racism in the past, beginning in 1746 when it was founded as the College of New Jersey.
“The university’s first nine presidents all owned slaves, a slave sale took place on campus in 1766, and enslaved people lived in the president’s house until at least 1822. A professor still owned a slave in 1840,” according to the Princeton University website.
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos (pictured) answers questions after visiting Forsyth Central High School in Cumming, Georgia
Following the DOE’s announcement, Princeton University released a statement that pushed back the agency’s allegations.
“It is unfortunate that the department appears to believe that honestly dealing with the nation’s history and the current effects of systemic racism is against the law,” the statement said.
“The university disagrees and looks forward to advancing our educational mission by explaining why our statements and actions are compatible not only with the law, but also with the highest ideals and aspirations of this country.”
The statement also promoted the institution’s stance on systematic racism and defended Eisgruber’s mention of racism at the school.
“The university also stands by our statements about the spread of systemic racism and our commitment to anticipate its continuing effects, including the racial injustice and inequalities that exist throughout American society.” it read.
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 the New York Times notes, this DOE investigation is the latest in a series of obstacles identified by the Trump administration at Ivy Leagues.
Experts told NYTimes the decisions were likely an extension of GOP’s efforts to stop race-based college admissions.
The U.S. Department of Justice in August accused Yale University of breaking federal law by discriminating against Asian and white Americans.
As a result, the DOJ was asked not to consider breed or national origin when examining approval. The DOJ threatened a lawsuit if Yale University failed to comply, but the school turned it down earlier this week.
Yale University argued that its admissions guidelines were in line with federal law.