Department of Education investigating Princeton after its president admits to “embedded” racism

by Peter Heck · Sep 18th, 2020 8:18 am

Last Updated Sep 18th, 2020 at 10:19 pm

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education have announced that they are investigating Princeton University after its president admitted that racism was "embedded" into the campus.

In an open letter, Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber acknowledged his school's racist shortcomings.

"Racist assumptions from the past also remain embedded in structures of the University itself," Eisgruber wrote. "For example Princeton inherits from earlier generations at least nine departments and programs organized around European languages and culture, but only a single, relatively small program in African studies."

Though Eisgruber's letter was potentially written as an effort to placate post-George Floyd protesters, the Education Department is taking it seriously.

If "racism and the damage it does to people of color persist at Princeton," like Eisgruber says, that would mean the school is violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The DOE has now sent records requests to Princeton to investigate that concern.

"Based on its admitted racism, the U.S. Department of Education … 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 DOE said.

Eisgruber has not replied personally to the Education Department, but the school said they will respond "in due course."


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