Texas School Agrees to Stop Using Race in Admissions, First in Nation

Henrietta Strickland
April 13, 2019

Public DomainThe Health Sciences Center at Texas Technical University must end its practice of considering the race of applicants to the medical school, the U.S. Education Department has announced.

The Trump administration is separately investigating whether Harvard and Yale are discriminating against Asian-American applicants in their use of race in admissions.

The Lubbock medical school struck a deal with the Education Department in February, concluding a 14-year investigation into the university's use of affirmative action, The Wall Street Journal first reported. The medical school argued it must continue weighing race in admissions because doctors from various backgrounds can serve Texas' diverse communities.

"In the larger context of this administration's civil rights record, it's clear that this is yet another attack on education equity", Jin Hee Lee, senior deputy director of litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., said to The New York Times.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaks during CPAC 2018 in National Harbor, Md., on February 22, 2018.

The agreement states the university may notify the Education Department if it seeks to resume using race or national origin in its admissions process.

"It shows that the Trump administration is serious about enforcing the civil rights laws in a way that protects the rights of all Americans to be free from discrimination", Clegg said in a comment. Education spokeswoman Hill said the school requested an agreement prior to the conclusion of the department's investigation.

President Donald Trump makes remarks during the inaugural meeting of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council in the Cabinet Room at the White House April 4, 2019 in Washington. Way back in 2004, someone filed a complaint with the DoE's Office of Civil Rights, alleging that TTU used race as part of its admissions process and that this was in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The act outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in a series of cases that universities may use affirmative action to increase minority enrollment on their campuses. The change is the first time President Donald Trump's administration has pushed a school to end this practice since it began efforts a year ago to chip away at affirmative action policies. Those cases question whether Asian Americans are being discriminated against during the admissions process. The elimination of these positive steps will only hinder progress for minority students while making medicine more hard to access throughout diverse communities. Both schools have denied the allegations.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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