The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has completed its investigation of the Department of Medicine’s discriminatory single-sex, female-only early career research award at the University of Minnesota Medical School (UMMS), prompting the school to scrub its website.
In April 2023, we reported that the OCR was investigating the UMMS Department of Medicine’s Dr. Anne Joseph Women’s Early Research Career (WERC) Award, which limited eligibility to women, for violating Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972. On September 1, Do No Harm Senior Fellow Mark Perry was notified by the OCR that the investigation into the WERC Award was complete. “The University provided documentation to OCR that the Award was open to all applicants who met the eligibility criteria,” the disposition letter stated, “and was not limited based on sex.” The university also confirmed that it will remove the word “Women’s” from the name of the award.
A search of the University of Minnesota (UMN) website for the term “WERC” produced a result:
However, that link has been taken down:
An archived page displaying the award can be seen here:
As a result of Perry’s work in recent years, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities has been the target for two dozen civil rights complaints citing more than fifty violations of Title VI and Title IX. Do No Harm acknowledges resolution of the discriminatory limitations of the WERC research award, and encourages the University of Minnesota to revise the other programs it continues to sponsor that violate federal civil rights law.
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