Scholars Unsurprised by Yale’s Violation of Civil Rights

National Association of Scholars

New York, New York, August 14, 2020 – Yesterday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) accused Yale University of racial discrimination in its undergraduate admissions. After an investigation over two years long, the DOJ found “that Yale University violated, and is continuing to violate, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 … by discriminating on the basis of race and national origin.” The Department has ordered that Yale end its racially discriminatory practices before the 2020-2021 academic year. The National Association of Scholars (NAS) applauds the DOJ for pursuing this case in the face of numerous obstacles, and looks forward to the end of racial preferences in American higher education.

“The National Association of Scholars has long fought for racial equality in this nation’s colleges and universities,” said NAS president Peter Wood. “It is disheartening that Yale has discriminated on the basis of race for more than four decades. By ordering Yale to stop these practices, the DOJ has stood up for the principle that no institution—even Yale—is above the law. Students deserve to be treated with fairness and dignity and evaluated on their individual strengths, rather than the color of their skin.”

Dr. Wood added, “Yale justifies its system of racial preferences as a permissible pursuit of diversity—a loophole in civil rights law opened by the Supreme Court’s 2003 decision in the case of Grutter v. Bollinger. But the Grutter decision was never intended to authorize the pattern of outright racial preferences Yale indulges.”

The findings of the DOJ’s investigation are of no surprise to the NAS. In 2019, the NAS published Separate but Equal, Again: Neo-Segregation at Yale. The report found that racial segregation is an essential part of Yale’s student recruitment, admissions, orientation, counseling, academic programs, curriculum, graduation, and alumni activities.

Dr. Wood explained, “Yale, like other elite institutions, is notoriously secretive about its admissions selection criteria. This lack of transparency is a full system failure, from accreditors to admissions officers. Any university that does not abide by Supreme Court precedent and uses race as a multiplier, not as a ‘factor of a factor of a factor’ in admissions, such as Yale, must be held accountable. All colleges and universities should end racial preferences and cease their discriminatory regimes.”

NAS is a network of scholars and citizens united by a commitment to academic freedom, disinterested scholarship, and excellence in American higher education. Membership in NAS is open to all who share a commitment to these broad principles. NAS publishes a journal and has state and regional affiliates. Visit NAS at


If you would like more information about this issue, please contact Chance Layton at [email protected].

Image: Helpfullguy99, Public Domain

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