According to reports this week, Donald Trump administration is planning to investigate and sue US universities over affirmative action admission policy that are perceived to take discriminate against white applicants. Which could once again risk the policies of many Universities.
Reports from The New York Times stated that the US Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division was searching for lawyers to carry out an investigation and possibly sue universities and colleges over “intentional race-based discrimination”
This move could possibly be another attack on the US higher education sector under the presidency of Donald Trump, after recent funding cuts, putting a travel ban on some international and putting criticism on particular campuses.
The New York Times states that the civil right division’s “front office” would be run the Justice Department, appointing the White House political appointees to work, rather than the staffed civil servants from educational opportunities section.
The assault on affirmative action was aligned in a wrong way with the longstanding goal of widening participation in US higher education, stated by Kristen Clarke (President of the lawyers’ committee for civil rights), to the times.
“The move is clearly disturbing”, she further said. “The move could invite a lot of chaos and bring fear in the colleges and universities, which would feel that the government may take action against them and spoil their efforts to maintain a certain level of diversity in their campuses”
Professor Neal H. Hutchens at the University of Mississippi stated to the Chronicle of Higher Education that the recent administrative actions could “put a chill” on our long efforts to improve diversity on campus.
He further stated, “The government should focus more on providing good means to ethnic minority students, which could create a safe and protected environment, instead of creating more hurdles for them”
The US Supreme Court already upheld a case on the use of affirmative action admissions policy last year, voted in favor of the University of Texas, by four to three on a particular program. However, there are already several lawsuits pending against other institutions like University of North Carolina and Harvard University.