Princeton University is facing a probe after the university president Christopher Eisgruber admitted there’s still structural racism within its institution.
The Ivy League school could be forced to pay back millions of dollars in federal funding and be fined over Eisgruber’s recent confession.
According to the Washington Examiner, the US Department of Education, in a letter to Eisgruber, said it was opening an investigation into a September 2 letter in which he outlined the school’s “efforts to combat systemic racism.”
“Among other things, you said ‘[r]acism and the damage it does to people of color persist at Princeton…’ and ‘[r]acist assumption…remain embedded in structures of the University itself,” Assistant Secretary Robert King of the Office of Postsecondary Education wrote.
This revelation raises doubts over the university’s compliance with the “nondiscrimination and equal opportunity assurances” it made to the Department of Education in exchange for over $75 million in taxpayer money it received since Eisgruber took over the school in 2013.
DOE officials are also “concerned Princeton’s many nondiscrimination and equal opportunity claims to students, parents, and consumers in the market for education certificates may have been false, misleading, and actionable substantial misrepresentations,” said King.
Princetown will now have to unearth records and information demanded by the DOE within three weeks. Eisgruber, along with a “designated corporate representative” will also have to be made available for “transcribed interviews under oath” within four weeks.
“Based on the facts, [Education Secretary Betsy DeVos] may consider measures against Princeton for false Program Participation Agreement nondiscrimination assurances, including an action to recover funds,” wrote King in the letter.
The DOE’s Office of the General Counsel will continue the probe. The matter is also being referred to the US Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the DOE’s Office for Civil Rights “for any additional action they deem appropriate,” wrote King.
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