In August 2022, we reported that the University of Kansas School of Medicine and KU Medical Center offered a racially discriminatory program through its Office of Diversity and Inclusion. The eligibility criteria for the Urban Scholars Program for Students Underrepresented in Medicine state, “Applicants must be a member of a population that is underrepresented in medicine (as defined by the Admissions Committee, including Native American, Black or African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Cambodian, Laotian, or Vietnamese).” Placing race-based restrictions on a publicly funded program is a clear violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits such discrimination.
The school announced the Urban Scholars program in a press release that reiterated the eligibility restrictions and “guaranteed admission to KU School of Medicine” for students who successfully complete it.
In response to the complaint filed by Mark Perry, senior fellow at Do No Harm, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has opened an investigation into this discriminatory program. “The University of Kansas Medical School’s illegal race-based discrimination is representative of the widespread discrimination taking place at almost every US medical school on the basis of race, color, and/or national origin,” Perry said. “By emphasizing racial diversity over merit and academic ability for admission to the racially discriminatory Urban Scholars Program for Students Underrepresented in Medicine, KU School of Medicine is compromising its fundamental academic responsibilities to pursue instead an ideologically driven diversity agenda.”
Have you been excluded from a scholarship or fellowship program due to discriminatory eligibility criteria? Do No Harm wants to hear from you.
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