Really banning discrimination at universities

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When is discrimination not discrimination?  For the past few decades the answer has been when it helps government approved minorities——blacks, Hispanics, women——overcome past discrimination.  Those not so anointed complained about counter discrimination, with varying degrees of success, over the years.

And now the government is listening by threatening to sue those institutions that favor one group for violating the 1964 Civil Rights Act which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, religion, sex or national origin.  And affected institutions are reacting.

Universities are particularly notorious for reserving certain admission slots and faculty positions for minorities.  But perhaps they'll be more careful now that the Department of Justice has threatened to sue Southern Illinois University for discrimination against white and male students because of fellowships designed specifically for minorities.

The Proactive Recruitment of Minority Professionals for Tomorrow fellowship, or PROMPT, had been intended to "increase the number of minorities receiving advanced degrees" in areas of study they haven't historically pursued, according to a description of the program. The Graduate Dean's Fellowship has traditionally been for women and other underrepresented students.

Since 2000, 78 PROMPT fellowships and 27 Graduate Dean's fellowships have been awarded, Gross said. No white men have participated, according to the Justice Department.

It will be interesting to see if the Department of Justice takes the same aggressive stance at more high profile, more prestigious  universities where  similar situations exists and whether the universities will agree to change, as has SIU, or resist. Protests of all kinds are sure to follow.
 
Ethel C. Fenig  1 27 06

Thomas Lifson adds:

SIU was stupid in designing a program that overtly discriminated. Following the Supreme Court decision Grutter V. Bolinger, universities were given signals about acceptable means to obscure the link between race and decision—making. SIU was just too overt.

Maybe the newly constituted SCOTUS will revisit Grutter. I hope so.

When is discrimination not discrimination?  For the past few decades the answer has been when it helps government approved minorities——blacks, Hispanics, women——overcome past discrimination.  Those not so anointed complained about counter discrimination, with varying degrees of success, over the years.

And now the government is listening by threatening to sue those institutions that favor one group for violating the 1964 Civil Rights Act which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, religion, sex or national origin.  And affected institutions are reacting.

Universities are particularly notorious for reserving certain admission slots and faculty positions for minorities.  But perhaps they'll be more careful now that the Department of Justice has threatened to sue Southern Illinois University for discrimination against white and male students because of fellowships designed specifically for minorities.

The Proactive Recruitment of Minority Professionals for Tomorrow fellowship, or PROMPT, had been intended to "increase the number of minorities receiving advanced degrees" in areas of study they haven't historically pursued, according to a description of the program. The Graduate Dean's Fellowship has traditionally been for women and other underrepresented students.

Since 2000, 78 PROMPT fellowships and 27 Graduate Dean's fellowships have been awarded, Gross said. No white men have participated, according to the Justice Department.

It will be interesting to see if the Department of Justice takes the same aggressive stance at more high profile, more prestigious  universities where  similar situations exists and whether the universities will agree to change, as has SIU, or resist. Protests of all kinds are sure to follow.
 
Ethel C. Fenig  1 27 06

Thomas Lifson adds:

SIU was stupid in designing a program that overtly discriminated. Following the Supreme Court decision Grutter V. Bolinger, universities were given signals about acceptable means to obscure the link between race and decision—making. SIU was just too overt.

Maybe the newly constituted SCOTUS will revisit Grutter. I hope so.