Department of Education Closes Investigation Into Princeton University

The US Department of Education (DoE) has closed its investigation into Princeton University over accusations of discrimination on the basis of race, Princeton’s University President has announced.

On Thursday, February 4, 2021, the University’s President Christopher L. Eisgruber delivered his annual State of the University letter to students, faculty and staff, Erudera College News reports.

“Princeton University is in full compliance with all anti-discrimination laws. We take pride in our university’s energetic commitment to equality and inclusivity. Our initiatives to fight systemic racism are part and parcel of that commitment – an effort to go above and beyond what the law requires, as all of us must do if we are to realize our aspirations at this university and in this country,the letter reads.

A spokesperson for the Department of Education said that the Department’s Office of the General Counsel closed the investigation on January 13, 2021.

Among others, in the letter, the president expressed gratitude to all legislators, colleges, universities as well as many professional organizations which have defended Princeton University.

He emphasized that the Department of Education did not undertake any actions on its investigation but decided to close it after Trump left the administration office.

The US Department of Education opened the investigation into Princeton’s non-discrimination practices last September after Eisgruber wrote an open letter pointing out the steps that the university will take in order to tackle the systemic racism.

“Racism and the damage it does to people of colour nevertheless persist at Princeton as in our society, sometimes by conscious intention but more often through unexamined assumptions and stereotypes, ignorance or insensitivity, and the systemic legacy of past decisions and policies,” Eisgruber wrote in the letter which followed the protests that took place after the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and other Black Americans in the US.

The letter continued: “Racist assumptions from the past also remain embedded in structures of the University itself.”

The statement was then interpreted as an acknowledgement of the failure to act in accordance with the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which bans discrimination based on race, colour or national origin in programs receiving federal financial support. 

Back in October, a lawsuit was filed by the Trump Administration accusing Yale University of discrimination against Asian American and white applicants during the undergraduate admission practices.

The US Department has recently dropped the lawsuit which, according to Yale’s President, has wrongly alleged that Yale University has discriminated against particular groups.

Harvard university has faced similar accuses from an anti-affirmative-action group which sued the university for discrimination against Asian American students.

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