On September 16, 2020, the University received a letter from the U.S. Department of Education requesting information about Princeton’s nondiscrimination practices.
The letter was the Department’s reaction to President Eisgruber’s update to the University community outlining the steps we are taking to address systemic racism at Princeton and beyond. Princeton has long been committed to creating and maintaining a community where all can thrive, and stands by its representations to the Department and the public that it complies with all laws and regulations governing equal opportunity, non-discrimination and harassment. This work is core to the University’s teaching and research mission, and we are vigilant in our pursuit of equity in every aspect of our programs and operations. The University also stands by our statements about the prevalence of systemic racism and our commitment to reckon with its continued effects, including the racial injustice and race-based inequities that persist throughout American society. Attracting talent from every sector of society is crucial to our academic mission, and we will continue to lead on these issues.
The University will respond to the Department of Education’s letter in due course. It is unfortunate that the Department appears to believe that grappling honestly with the nation’s history and the current effects of systemic racism runs afoul of existing law. The University disagrees and looks forward to furthering our educational mission by explaining why our statements and actions are consistent not only with the law, but also with the highest ideals and aspirations of this country. https://www.princeton.edu/news/2020/09/17/university-statement-us-department-education-letter-regarding-nondiscrimination
Coverage in the media:
- The New York Times: Princeton Admitted Past Racism. Now It Is Under Investigation.
- The Washington Post: Education Department launches investigation after Princeton’s president confronts ‘systemic racism’ on campus
- The Wall Street Journal: Princeton Faces Federal Probe After Acknowledging Past Racism