NAS Urges HHS to Disavow Voter Discrimination

  • Press_Release
  • February 15, 2008

The National Association of Scholars renewed its call for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to sever its ties with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), an accreditor of social work education programs. Having previously questioned the constitutionality of the Department's relationship with CSWE on First Amendment grounds, the NAS now finds in CSWE voting procedures an even more blatant violation of Fourteenth Amendment prohibitions against racial discrimination.

In a letter sent on Monday to Deputy Secretary Tevi D. Troy, NAS president Stephen H. Balch noted that the CSWE allocates seats on its governing board and special committees on the basis of race and ethnicity (as well as gender, disability, and sexual orientation), prohibiting persons of other races and ethnicities from being nominated for them. In allowing CSWE standards to determine the professional fitness of its social workers, the HHS thus co-opts a rule-making process fatally corrupted by racial discrimination of an unusually gross and systematic kind.

Moreover, the CSWE receives grants for minority fellowship programs from two HHS agencies, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the National Institute of Mental Health. Such fellowships, blatantly discriminatory in restricting support to members of particular racial and ethnic groups, have been successfully challenged at a number of universities, and clearly violate the strictures against racial and ethnic exclusivity defined by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Gratz and Grutter cases. By subsidizing them with tax dollars, HHS adds constitutional insult to injury.

As Dr. Balch observed, "it is bad enough that CSWE makes accreditation conditional on social work programs abridging student free speech and conscience rights via the imposition of political orthodoxy. But coupling this with a racially restrictive voting system and color-coded fellowships reveals an extraordinary disregard of fundamental American ideals. On those grounds alone, HHS would be well advised to keep CSWE at arm's length. As a department of the federal government, however, operating under the warrant of the U.S. Constitution, HHS should also feel legally obliged to do so. I very much hope HHS will advise CSWE that unless it alters these policies, the gatekeeper role it currently enjoys, together with the Department's fellowship support, will be terminated."

Letter to HHS Secretary Tevi D. Troy

  • Share

Most Commented

October 31, 2023


University of Washington Violated Non-Discrimination Policy, Internal Report Finds

A faculty hiring committee at the University of Washington “inappropriately considered candidates’ races when determining the order of offers,” provided “disparate op......

January 24, 2024


After Claudine

The idea has caught on that the radical left overplayed its hand in DEI and is now vulnerable to those of us who seek major reforms. This is not, however, the first time that the a......

December 9, 2023


The Presidents and Academic Freedom

What are the boundaries of “free speech?” They are pretty much the same as the boundaries of civilization. Savages need not apply....

Most Read

May 15, 2015


Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

October 12, 2010


Ask a Scholar: What is the True Definition of Latino?

What does it mean to be Latino? Are only Latin American people Latino, or does the term apply to anyone whose language derived from Latin?...

September 21, 2010


Ask a Scholar: What Does YHWH Elohim Mean?

A reader asks, "If Elohim refers to multiple 'gods,' then Yhwh Elohim really means Lord of Gods...the one of many, right?" A Hebrew expert answers....