Texas Tech Health Sciences Center Agrees to End Use of Race in Admissions Process

WASHINGTON -- Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center has agreed to stop using race as a factor for applicants to its medical school, bowing to pressure from the Trump administration’s attempts to curtail the use of affirmative action in admissions.The Lubbock medical school struck a deal with the Education Department in February, concluding a 14-year investigation into the university’s use of affirmative action, the Wall Street Journal first reported. Tech said it would inform the staff of changes by March 1 and said it would remove material related to race or national origins by September.Texas Tech did not immediately respond to a request for comment.The action is the first of its kind by the Education Department and signals the approach the agency will take with other schools.The department has investigations under way into the use of race admissions at Yale and Harvard universities. Those cases question whether Asian Americans are being discriminated against during the admissions process. Last July, the department revoked an Obama-era guidelines for how schools could legally consider race in the interest of promoting diversity.This is not the first time affirmative action has come up in Texas. The University of Texas was tied up in a seven-year legal battle related to Abigail Fisher, a white female, who was not accepted. Fisher challenged the school’s affirmative action and automatic admissions policies.The Supreme Court heard Fisher v. Texas twice, reaffirming the practice of race as an admissions factor in a 4-3 decision in 2016. Former Justice Robert Kennedy left the door open for future legal challenges by saying universities must review their affirmative action policies and assess the effects.  Continue reading...

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