We recently reported that the University of Texas Health (UT Health) Long School of Medicine (LSOM) in San Antonio was under investigation for its racially discriminatory Diversity in Medicine Visiting Elective Scholars Program. The program’s eligibility restrictions required applicants to “identify as one or more of the following underrepresented backgrounds: Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander.” Discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin is prohibited under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. After being informed that a federal civil rights investigation was opened by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), UT Health LSOM scrubbed the website, claimed the program no longer exists, and “that any mention of the Program on its website was inadvertent.” An archived version of the web page can be accessed here.
OCR dismissed the case on February 7, stating:
The University provided OCR documentary evidence reflecting that the scholarship at issue in this case has been changed so that it is now available for visiting students, regardless of gender or race. Specifically, the webpage for the scholarship indicates that it is an opportunity for “individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, who are committed to working with underserved populations, or are interested in working with issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
The evidence provided to OCR by UT Health Long School of Medicine is not publicly available. A search of the UT Health LSOM website and its Office for Inclusion and Diversity failed to locate any reference to the program, and the link to the original posting still shows “page not found.”
Do No Harm continues to fight back against discrimination in academic scholarships and programs. If your school offers a scholarship with eligibility criteria that are based on race/ethnicity or sexual orientation/gender identity, please let us know.
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