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I’m a bit giddy with schadenfreude. It’s probably because I’m a nerd of a lawyer.
Betsy DeVos has been a terrific Secretary of Education. Yesterday, her department sent a letter to the President of Princeton about Princeton’s admission of racism. Here are some excerpts (citations omitted)
Since you became President in 2013, and in exchange for well over $75 million in federal Title IV taxpayer funds alone, Princeton University (“Princeton”) has repeatedly represented and warranted to the U.S. Department of Education (“Department”) Princeton’s compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 . . .. Title VI provides no person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal assistance. Also, Princeton has made many material nondiscrimination and equal opportunity representations to students, parents, and consumers in the market for education certificates during this time.
On September 2, 2020, you admitted Princeton’s educational program is and for decades has been racist. Among other things, you said “[r]acism and the damage it does to people of color persist at Princeton . . .” and “[r]acist assumptions . . . remain embedded in structures of the University itself.” . . . Because of racism, you announced race-based “diversity” measures for hiring, procurement, teaching, fellowship, and research funding.
Based on its admitted racism, the U.S. Department of Education (“Department”) is concerned Princeton’s nondiscrimination and equal opportunity assurances in its Program Participation Agreements from at least 2013 to the present may have been false. The Department is further concerned Princeton perhaps knew, or should have known, these assurances were false at the time they were made. Finally, the Department is further concerned Princeton’s many nondiscrimination and equal opportunity claims to students, parents, and consumers in the market for education certificates may have been false, misleading, and actionable substantial misrepresentations in violation of [federal statute and regulation]. Therefore, the Department’s Office of Postsecondary Education, in consultation with the Department’s Office of the General Counsel, is opening this investigation.
. . .
Based on the facts, the Secretary of Education may consider measures against Princeton for false Program Participation Agreement nondiscrimination assurances, including an action to recover funds. Also, she may consider measures against Princeton for making substantial misrepresentations about the nature of its educational programs, including a fine proceeding. . . .
So, your university is racist. Is it, Mr. Princeton President? Then your university lied to the federal government, lied to students, lied to parents, and lied to others, over and over again. Your university repeatedly violated the anti-discrimination law. Give us back all of that federal money, at least $75 million.
An article by the Washington Examiner, which includes the full letter, is here.
The letter demands voluminous records within 21 days, plus answers to written questions, plus the production of the President of Princeton and a corporate representative within 28 days for an interview under oath. A couple of the documents requests are just priceless (if you’re a nerd of a lawyer):
All records concerning, relating to, or referencing Princeton’s “systemic” and/or “embedded” racism, as those terms are used in the President’s Letter. The time frame for this request is January 1, 2013 to the present.
A spreadsheet identifying each person who has, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, been excluded from participation in, been denied the benefits of, or been subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance as a result of Princeton’s racism or “damage” referenced in the President’s Letter.
Then there’s this written question, which must be answered within 21 days:
The President’s Letter admits “Racism and the damage it does to people of color . . . persist(s) at Princeton” and racist assumptions “remain embedded in structures of the University itself.” Do these admissions mean Princeton’s nondiscrimination and equal opportunity assurances and representations to the Department and/or its students, parents, and consumers in the market for education certificates have been false and misleading? If not, why not?
Go Betsy! Strike first, strike hard, no mercy sir!
I hope that this is just the first of many such letters and investigations. I hope that the Department of Education is relentless in demanding refund of money and imposing fines for false statements.
BLM delenda est.Published in