DOJ sues Yale University for discriminating against white, Asian applicants
Of over 13,000 students at Yale in 2019, less than 8 percent were Black. The suit was called 'baseless.'
The Department of Justice, headed by Attorney General Bill Barr, has sued Yale University for allegedly discriminating against white and Asian applicants.
“All persons who apply for admission to colleges and universities should expect and know that they will be judged by their character, talents and achievements and not the color of their skin,” Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Civil Rights Division said in a statement. “To do otherwise is to permit our institutions to foster stereotypes, bitterness and division.”
The lawsuit is the result of a two-year investigation into claims by Asian American groups that their race was a factor in hundreds of admissions decisions. The investigation stemmed from a 2016 complaint against Yale and several other Ivy League schools, including Brown University and Dartmouth College.
The Department of Justice is alleging that Yale’s admissions process violates Title VI the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
The complaint alleges that the university violates the act by “subjecting domestic, non-transfer Asian and white applicants to Yale College to unlawful discrimination on the ground of race.”
The investigation alleges that Asian and white students have “one-tenth to one-fourth of the likelihood of admission as African American applications with comparable academic credentials.”
In mid-August, the Department of Justice demanded that Yale stop using race or national origin in its 2020-2021 admissions cycle. The university pushed back, saying it did not plan to change its process.
Yale President Peter Salovey called the lawsuit “baseless.”
“I want to be clear: Yale does not discriminate against applicants of any race or ethnicity,” he said in a statement. “Our admissions practices are completely fair and lawful. Yale’s admissions policies will not change as a result of the filing of this baseless lawsuit. We look forward to defending these policies in court.”
Of the more than 13,000 students at Yale in 2019, less than 8% are Black.
In 2018, the hashtag #yalewhileblack trended on Twitter after a white graduate student called campus police on a Black fellow student who had fallen asleep in a common room while studying.