Earlier this month, Princeton president Christopher Eisgruber released a statement acknowledging that “racism and the damage it does to people of color” persist at the Ivy League university. Eisgruber confessed that “racist assumptions from the past also remain embedded in structures of the University itself,” deep in the “nuts and bolts of University management.” He offered a set of proposals to remedy Princeton’s racist history, including hiring more black faculty and changing racially insensitive “campus iconography.”
In response to this admission of racism by a university that receives millions of dollars in public support, the Department of Education has launched an investigation into Princeton’s apparently false certifications of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity protocols. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, it’s illegal to discriminate on the basis of race in any institution that receives federal funding. Presumably, falsely certifying compliance with civil rights law is a federal crime and could involve stiff penalties.