UCSF Fresno Responds to Civil Rights Investigation of a Discriminatory Scholarship
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) opened an investigation into The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Fresno for its racially discriminatory Obstetrics and Gynecology Scholarship for Visiting UiM Students – 2022 (archived page here), as we reported last December. The scholarship’s application confirmed that the program was intended to support students who are “underrepresented in medicine,” and asked for the applicant’s race/ethnicity.
In response to OCR’s federal civil rights investigation, UCSF Fresno changed the name of the program to “Obstetrics and Gynecology Scholarship for Visiting Students 2023,” which is reflected on its webpage. The original eligibility requirements stated:
To qualify for this scholarship, you must identify as UiM** (** UIM includes a member of the LGBTQ+ communities or underrepresented minorities as described by the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development which includes: Black, African Americans or Africans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians, Native Americans or Alaskan natives, Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders, and Asians (other than: Chinese, Filipinos, Japanese, Koreans, Malaysians, Pakistanis, Asian Indian, and Thai).
The updated eligibility requirements now state:
To qualify for this scholarship, you must Identify as a student from a Disadvantaged Background** (**Family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds AND/OR from a social, cultural, or educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that have demonstrably presented barriers to navigating admissions or access to medical careers.).
The 2023 application also contains the restructured language, and information on the applicant’s race/ethnicity is no longer collected. However, it leaves the door open for the applicant to “further explain the circumstances of your ‘disadvantaged background’” as an optional response.
As a result of these changes, the San Francisco Office for Civil Rights has determined the case is resolved.
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