The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Yale University on Thursday for alleged discrimination against Asian and white applicants, the latest in a series of federal investigations and lawsuits against Ivy League colleges.
“For the last few decades, Yale’s oversized, standardless, intentional use of race has subjected domestic, non-transfer applicants to Yale College to discrimination on the ground of race,” the complaint, filed in Connecticut district court, reads.
Yale’s discrimination, according to the lawsuit, “includes imposing undue and unlawful penalties on racially-disfavored applicants.
Those policies, the Justice Department said, show the college violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race and national origin.
Yale’s affirmative action policies rely “upon and reinforces damaging race-based stereotypes,” the Justice Department said in the lawsuit, adding that these considerations were “apart from the applicants’ personal and individual challenges pursuing educational opportunities.”
In a statement, Yale president Peter Salovey denied the lawsuit’s allegations, calling it “baseless” and writing that Yale’s admissions policies will not change because of the filing.
“We look forward to defending these policies in court,” he wrote.
The complaint comes after a two-year investigation concluded in August that Yale “rejects scores of Asian American and white applicants each year based on their race, whom it otherwise would admit,” the Justice Department said. The investigation stemmed from a 2016 complaint against Yale, Brown and Dartmouth.
The U.S. said it was prepared to sue if the school did not take “remedial measures.”
Last month, the Department of Education announced it was investigating Princeton University for lapses in its nondiscriminatory practices. Last year, a Boston federal judge cleared Harvard University of discriminating against Asian American applicants, legal efforts that the Justice Department supported.
It also follows President Donald Trump’s accusations of “the liberal indoctrination of America’s youth” at nation’s colleges, and the passage of an executive order that says that many people are advocating for an “ideology is rooted in the pernicious and false belief that America is an irredeemably racist and sexist country.”
Contributing: The Associated Press.