Relenting to pressure from the administration of President Donald Trump, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center agreed to stop using race as a factor when looking at medical school applicants, the Washington Post reported.
What are the details?
The school's Health Sciences Center agreed to a deal with the Education Department in February, the Wall Street Journal said, citing a copy of the resolution agreement the paper obtained. It was the culmination of a 14-year investigation into the university's use of affirmative action, the paper added.
The agreement also marked the first time the Trump administration asked a school to loosen affirmative action, the Journal said, adding that those familiar with the administration's plans say it points to the direction the Trump administration will take future investigations of race in admissions.
Indeed, the Trump administration announced last year it would scrap policies of former President Barack Obama's administration that encouraged universities to consider race in admissions. The Trump administration also is investigating alleged admissions discrimination against Asian Americans at Harvard and Yale, the Journal said.
"This shows the Trump administration is taking seriously its responsibility to enforce civil rights in a way that protects all Americans," Roger Clegg, general counsel of Center for Equal Opportunity, an anti-affirmation action advocacy group, told the paper. "The more schools that don't use racial preferences, the harder it is for the remaining schools to justify their use of it."
The Center for Equal Opportunity filed the 2005 complaint against Texas Tech that launched the Education Department's investigation, the Journal added.
The Education Department said Texas Tech hadn't been conducting annual reviews of its use of race in admissions, the paper noted, per a 2016 Supreme Court decision upholding affirmative action but saying schools must assess how effectively their affirmative action policies are working.
The school ended affirmative action at its pharmacy school in 2008 and in undergraduate admissions in 2013, the Journal reported, but the medical school said it had to keep using race in admissions decisions as doctors from many backgrounds would be best for Texas' racially and ethnically diverse communities.
Texas Tech said it would remove material referencing race and national origin as admission factors by September, the Post reported.
The university didn't respond to a request for comment, the Journal reported.