Yale denies charge; says will continue to foster diverse, vibrant educational environment.
The Trump administration has sued Yale University for race and national origin discrimination particularly against Asian and White applicants, a charge denied by the Ivy League institution.
The Department of Justice (DOJ)complaint filed Thursday alleged that Yale discriminated against applicants imposing undue and unlawful penalties on racially-disfavored applicants, including in particular most Asian and White applicants.
Yale, it alleged engages in racial balancing by, among other things, keeping the annual percentage of African-American admitted applicants to within one percentage point of the previous year’s admitted class as reflected in US Department of Education data.
The complaint alleges similar racial balancing about Asian-American applicants, according to Justice Department release.
The lawsuit is the result of a multi-year investigation into allegations of illegal discrimination contained in a complaint filed by Asian American groups concerning Yale’s conduct, it said.
“Illegal race discrimination by colleges and universities must end,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Civil Rights Division.
As a condition of receiving millions of dollars in taxpayer funding, Yale expressly agrees to comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the complaint, Yale receives over $600 million annually in federal funds.
The Justice Department said it found Yale discriminates based on race and national origin in its undergraduate admissions process, and that race is the determinative factor in hundreds of admissions decisions each year.
For the great majority of applicants, Asian Americans and Whites have only one-eighth to one-fourth of the likelihood of admission as African American applicants with comparable academic credentials.
Yale rejects scores of Asian American and White applicants each year based on their race, whom it otherwise would admit, the complaint alleged.
Yale refused to agree to the DOJ’s demand that Yale refrain from using race or national origin in its current 2020-2021 undergraduate admissions cycle, it said.
Yale also failed or refused ever to end its use of race in admissions, and Yale declined even to propose any changes to its pervasive use of race.
The department therefore notified Yale that efforts at voluntary compliance had failed and filed suit, the release said.
Denying the charge, Yale President Peter Salovey in a letter to the Yale Community said, Yale has provided DOJ with information showing that its “allegation is based on inaccurate statistics and unfounded conclusions.”
“I want to be clear: Yale does not discriminate against applicants of any race or ethnicity. Our admissions practices are completely fair and lawful,” he asserted.
“Yale’s admissions policies will not change as a result of the filing of this baseless lawsuit,” Salovey wrote. “We look forward to defending these policies in court.”
“As our country grapples with urgent questions about race and social justice, I have never been more certain that Yale’s approach to undergraduate admissions helps us to fulfill our mission to improve the world today and for future generations,” he wrote.
“We remain unwavering in our commitment to identifying applicants whose individual experiences and abilities will combine to create an extraordinary educational community,” Salovey wrote.