OCR Investigating ‘Financial Discrimination’ Against Men at Tulane
The United States Department of Education has launched a Title IX investigation into Tulane University amid allegations the school engages in "financial discrimination" against male students and prospective applicants.
According to an August 20 letter obtained by PJ Media, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has agreed to investigate whether six female-only scholarships violate Title IX, the 1972 federal law that prohibits universities from discrimination due to sex.
Scholarships under investigation include the Landor Lewis and Shirley Gauff Awards, the Grace Hopper Celebration Award, and the school’s Summer Internship Funding Grant, which offers up to $2,000 annually for female students to take on unpaid internships.
The full scope of "financial discrimination" by Tulane is unknown. The six scholarships listed in the Title IX complaint may only comprise a small fraction of all female-only scholarships at the school, as private universities typically do not list all scholarships on their website.
According to the complaint, male students at Tulane are left in the dust. Even though men are only 42 percent of the student body and are also less likely to graduate, Tulane continues to boast of programs and scholarships exclusively for women.
This is surprising, because if anyone needs a "boost" in higher education now, it’s men.
While there’s no research (yet) suggesting that these disparities negatively impact men, some critics and scholars worry that the disparities act as a "signal" telling men that they aren’t exactly wanted on campus.
"These disparities send a subtle, or maybe even not so subtle, message to male students that they are less valued than women today in higher education," University of Michigan-Flint professor Mark Perry told PJ Media on Thursday.
"Not only are men the minority gender today in higher education for both enrollment and degrees, but they are often treated like they have out-of-favor, marginalized minority status," Perry added.
This ultimately sends the message that "men have become the ‘second sex’ on college campuses today."
Margaret C. Valois is a Title IX attorney based in Virginia. She counsels men and women accused of Title IX violations, many of whom were investigated under Obama-era Title IX regulations forbidding due process and cross-examination.
"I work hard to make sure the investigations and hearings in students’ cases are carried out in accordance with the law and with school policy, and to achieve the best possible result so that they can complete their education," she told PJ Media on Thursday.
Valois was one of a few people who urged the OCR to investigate Tulane. When asked why she helped file the complaint, she responded: "Unfairness. Title IX guaranteed equal rights to education, regardless of sex. Period."