Yale University is being investigated by the Office for Civil Rights within the United States Department of Education for allegedly violating Title IX by running women-only programs at the Yale School of Management.
According to a complaint filed by Mark J. Perry, an economics professor at University of Michigan, Flint, the Yale SOM discriminates against men on the basis of sex by excluding them from applying for several executive education programs created solely for women. In an Oct. 13 letter from the DOE obtained by the News, the department’s Boston office for civil rights notified Perry that they would open an investigation into his complaint. University officials said that the University recently received the complaint and declined to comment.
Officials from the DOE confirmed to the News that the OCR opened an investigation into the University on Tuesday for possible discrimination but declined to provide additional information about the case, citing its ongoing status.
“OCR is opening the following legal issues for investigation: Whether the University discriminates against men by excluding them from applying for the (1) ‘Women’s Leadership Program,’ (2) ‘Women’s Leadership Program Live Online,’ (3) ‘Women’s Leadership Program Online’ and (4) ‘Women on Boards’ executive education programs within the University’s School of Management, which are only available to women, in violation of Title IX,” the letter stated.
The letter said since Yale receives federal financial assistance from the Department, the OCR can investigate it pursuant to Title IX, which establishes that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
SOM spokespeople declined to comment on the school’s use of federal funding.
This is not the first time Yale has come under investigation from the DOE. In February, the department opened an investigation into the University’s alleged failure to report foreign funding.
Perry told the News that he has filed 237 complaints alleging Title IX violations in higher education. He stated that around 100 of his complaints have resulted in civil rights investigations, and, out of those, 30 had resolutions in his favor.
“My goal is to advance civil rights and Title IX for all (and not just some) in higher education expose the systemic sexism that is tolerated and promoted at hundreds of colleges and universities in the US,” Perry wrote in an email to the News.
Perry said that most “sex-specific, single-sex, female-only” programs violate Title IX unless a university offers equivalent male-only programs. He alleges that since Yale SOM excludes men and denies them from these program and their benefits, Yale is discriminating against men based on their sex as they deny men the same educational opportunities offered to women.
There are three ways to resolve Title IX violations for sex-specific programs, Perry told the News. If the OCR finds that SOM’s programs do violate Title IX regulations, SOM will have to discontinue its single-sex programs, open the programs up to all genders or create equivalent male-only programs.
After spending more than 25 years in higher education as a professor, Perry said, he became increasingly aware of what he calls systemic sexism in higher education. Starting around 2016, he claims to have started “a one-man mission to expose what are not just illegal violations of civil rights laws, but are what [he thinks] are violations of basic principles of social justice, fairness and equity.”
“Title IX enforcement has been applied selectively for decades,” Perry wrote, “and it is my goal to end the double-standard for enforcement and protect the civil rights of all students, faculty and staff in higher education, not just some students, faculty and staff.”
A total of 549 men and 399 women enrolled in SOM for the 2019-2020 academic year, according to the University’s Office of Institutional Research.
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