The University of Michigan (UM) is now under evaluation by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) due to allegations of financial, academic, and programmatic discrimination against male students and prospective students.
The evaluation comes after UM-Flint Professor Mark Perry filed a complaint to the OCR on June 9, 2018, outlining 53 programs he claims are in violation of Title IX, a federal law stipulating that no university shall discriminate against anyone on the basis of sex.
The 53 programs include the Mary Malcomson Raphael Fellowship, which provides academic financial support to “women graduate students” only, and the Elizabeth Caroline Crosby Research Award, which provides $20,000 grants “especially for women.”
Though Perry’s complaint has not yet been accepted by the OCR for a formal investigation, precedent is on his side. The OCR has agreed to investigate six other universities for the same reason, including Tulane, Yale, Princeton, Pennsylvania, and Northeastern.
In a Sunday interview with PJ Media, Perry said he only went to the OCR after exhausting all other options. Back in May, the economics professor prompted UM’s Title IX officer to open an unprecedented investigation into 11 programs that discriminate against men. But that was short lived: Three days after media brought the probe to light, the UM’s Title IX officer, Pamela Heatlie, abruptly closed the investigation.
The dismissal was so fast that it ignored federal OCR guidelines, which stipulate that Perry should have been informed of the rationale for dismissal and of the opportunity for appeal, among other things.
That incident — the improper dismissal of the internal Title IX complaint — is also under evaluation by the OCR, per Perry’s request. He tells PJ Media that he expects to hear back from the Cleveland OCR regional office as soon as October or November.
If Perry’s complaint is accepted, UM will become the seventh school to fall under an official Title IX investigation. Though the OCR will attempt to reach a verdict in 180 days, it could take months, if not years, as the OCR is backlogged by more than 1,500 cases.
While Title IX initially was enacted when women were a minority in education, the opposite is true now. Women have earned the majority of bachelor’s degrees nationwide since 1981, and at all UM campuses for at least the past eight years.
“What’s at stake here is intellectual and legal consistency when it comes to gender equality, inclusion and fairness. Universities like the University of Michigan profess to be committed to equal treatment,” Perry told PJ Media on Sunday.
“Unfortunately, what we observe in practice is the University of Michigan engaging in a blatant double-standard when it comes to gender discrimination, and it is a double-standard that is in my opinion illegal, because it violates Title IX at the federal level and Michigan law at the state level.”
Going forward, Perry hopes that UM will change course.
“In other words, I’m asking for an end to the current regime of blatant ‘female privilege’ at the University of Michigan for more than 50 programs, scholarships, camps, fellowships, initiatives, awards, clubs, etc. that are either single-gender, female-only programs, or are pro-women in ways that unfairly exclude men, are hostile to men, discriminate against men, and provide illegal preferential treatment for women.”
You can learn more about Perry’s work at his AEI blog, Carpe Diem. PJ Media reached out to UM, but the school declined to comment.
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