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US medical school abandons affirmative action after pressure from Trump administration

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l1789 (Published 23 April 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l1789
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

The medical school of Texas Tech University, under pressure from the US education department, has agreed to stop considering race as a criterion in its admissions, becoming the first institution to bend before the Trump administration’s campaign to end affirmative action in US universities.

The move is evidence that the administration’s hostility to affirmative action policies that seek to bring more black and Hispanic students into higher education is having an effect, say civil rights groups.

It follows last year’s revoking by the education secretary, Betsy DeVos, of the Obama administration guidance that advised schools on how they could legally consider race in the interest of promoting diversity. DeVos has previously fought against affirmative action.

Her department’s Office for Civil Rights is already investigating the use of race in admissions at Harvard and Yale universities, questioning whether Asian American applicants are being discriminated against.

Vanita Gupta, president of the Leadership Conference Education Fund, a civil rights umbrella group opposing discrimination in education, said, “Not only is this administration demonstrably hostile toward diversity and inclusion in our higher education institutions, but now it is also pressuring …

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