The US Department of Justice sued Yale University on Thursday, the university charged with illegal discrimination against Asian American and white applicants. The suit continues a threat to the Justice Department Yale made in August: that it will end its consideration of the breed in admissions or face a lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges that Yale is race-balancing by, among other things, limiting the annual percentage of approved African-American applicants to one percentage point of the previous year’s approved class, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education. The complaint alleges similar racial balance in Asian-American applicants. In general, Yale’s policies favor Black and Latinx applicants, the lawsuit states.
In a statement, Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Civil Rights Department said: “One of the highest ideals of this nation is the notion that we are all equal under the law. For centuries, people from all over the world have learned of this ideal, leaving their ancestral homes and coming to the United States in the hope that this country will live up to its ideals and that they and their families will enjoy equal opportunities and pursue the Americans dream. Countless Americans have and continue to pursue their dreams through higher education. All individuals applying for college and university admission should expect and know that they will be judged on their character, talents and achievements, not their skin color. Otherwise we allow our institutions to encourage stereotypes, bitterness and division. “
Yale is charged with violating Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination.
The university said it would defend itself in court.
“Let me be clear: Yale does not discriminate against applicants of any race or ethnicity. Our licensing practices are completely fair and lawful. Filing this unsubstantiated lawsuit will not change Yale’s regulatory policy, ”said a letter from Peter Salovey, President of Yale, to campus.
In particular, he responded to testimony from the Justice Department aimed at proving Yale’s involvement in discrimination by stating that there is more to getting to Yale than having the best grades and test scores. “With this issue, it’s important to consider the quality of Yale’s intake pool. Even if we thought we were on [grade point averages] and test results were in Yale’s interests alone, we were unable to take this course because we have too many applicants with very good academic qualifications. More importantly, Yale would not be well served just looking at GPA and test scores that don’t provide a complete picture of each applicant, “Salovey said.
Ted Mitchell, President of the American Council on Education, called, “With its actions today, the Department of Justice has joined, without apology, repeated, failed attempts by misguided advocacy groups to prevent colleges and universities from considering race as a factor in a holistic admissions test despite four decades of US Supreme Court precedents The principle that colleges have a compelling interest in student diversity. In recent years, attacks on the University of Texas at Austin have been dismissed – twice – by the Supreme Court, and it wasn’t until last October that a Massachusetts federal court ruled in favor of Harvard University in a similar case. “
However, Yukong Zhao, president of the Asian American Coalition for Education, who opposes positive action, said, “All American children should be judged on their merit and character, not their skin color. The government has taken additional measures to improve the clause of the Civil Rights Act to enforce equal legal protections, particularly equal rights for Asian-American children who have long been scapegoated by racial preferences in education Hispanic communities, not hard-working Asian-American children, should be held responsible for the persistent racial performance inequality will.”