By Students for Fair Admissions, Special for USDR
Today, Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) over its failure to produce documents concerning the investigation of Princeton University for discrimination against Asian Americans in the admissions process. SFFA alleges that DOE has failed to meet its statutory obligation under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to produce these records.
The complaint can be found at:
In 2008, DOE launched a compliance review of Princeton University’s consideration of race and national origin in the admissions process. In particular, DOE reviewed evidence provided in two complaints alleging that the university was discriminating against Asian Americans in the admissions process. Despite the serious allegations raised by these complaints, the DOE ultimately found insufficient evidence that Princeton was discriminating against Asian Americans and it closed its compliance review about seven years later on September 9, 2015.
On January 11, 2016, SFFA requested from DOE all documents the agency reviewed during its investigation of Princeton University. Since then, SFFA has continually communicated with DOE to request that the agency fulfill its legal obligation to provide the requested documents. But as of today, more than nine months after SFFA submitted its FOIA application, the DOE has provided no documents to SFFA.
In its complaint, SFFA asks the Court to order the DOE to immediately conduct searches for any and all records related to the agency’s investigation of Princeton and to produce by a specific date the materials SFFA is legally entitled to receive.
SFFA president Edward Blum said, “Discrimination against Asian applicants to our nation’s most competitive universities is shameful and must be ended. Although the DOE exonerated Princeton’s policies, outside experts who will examine the data may come to very different conclusions.”
Blum continued, “Princeton University has no need to continue to use racial and ethnic preferences and should end them now. At a minimum, Princeton should be transparent and open about the ways in which it uses race in the admissions process.”
Blum concluded, “The public data available call into serious question the constitutionality of Princeton’s admissions policies and undermine the DOE’s findings. We look forward to reviewing the records and making our own determination.”
SFFA is a 501(c)(3), voluntary membership organization with over 21,000 members. It was formed for the purpose of defending human and civil rights secured by law, including the right of individuals to equal protection under the law, through litigation and any other lawful means. SFFA’s members are students, parents, and concerned citizens who promote racial equality in the admissions process and fight racial discrimination in whatever form it takes.
In 2015, after learning of reports that Yale Law School was destroying student admissions evaluation records, SFFA sent Princeton and other Ivy League universities a letter warning them of their legal duty to preserve all admissions files in their possession or control. In addition, SFFA is currently in active litigation against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, alleging that these universities are employing racially discriminatory policies and procedures in administering their undergraduate admissions programs.
SOURCE Students for Fair Admissions