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Education Department Closes Princeton Investigation

February 15, 2021

The Education Department last month closed an investigation into whether Princeton University discriminates on the basis of race. The investigation -- widely denounced in higher education -- closed without any finding. Its original basis was a Princeton statement that it was committed to investigating and dealing with systemic racism in the United States.

Princeton president Christopher L. Eisgruber announced the closing of the investigation in a state-of-the-university letter.

"The Trump administration’s specious theory was that any institution that recognized the impact of systemic racism thereby confessed to having violated federal anti-discrimination laws," he said. "That was, as I expect even the Trump administration’s lawyers knew, pure baloney. Princeton University is in full compliance with all anti-discrimination laws. We take pride in our university’s energetic commitment to equality and inclusivity. Our initiatives to fight systemic racism are part and parcel of that commitment -- an effort to go above and beyond what the law requires, as all of us must do if we are to realize our aspirations at this university and in this country. Legislators, other colleges and universities, and a multitude of professional organizations came quickly and emphatically to Princeton’s defense. We are grateful for their stalwart support. After its initial letter to us, the Department of Education took no substantial action on its bogus 'investigation' except to close it as the Trump administration left office."

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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