If conservatives seek a new champion on college campuses, Mark Perry might be it.
Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint, has made it a habit to point out where colleges and universities are failing to abide by federal anti-discrimination laws.
According to The College Fix, Perry, a scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and author of the economics blog Carpe Diem, has filed 326 complaints accusing public colleges of violating federal civil rights laws since 2016.
In all, he had alleged more than 1,000 total violations. The Fix took an interest in Perry because he recently alleged 27 violations of the Civil Rights Act against the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
That number “sets a new record for the greatest number of violations I’ve found at a single college or university,” Perry told the Fix. He noted there may be “additional violations that weren’t uncovered.”
“MIT is apparently either unaware of federal civil rights laws, or it thinks it’s above the law,” Perry added. “Either way [it’s] a pretty sad indictment of MIT.”
The Fix reports that Perry’s complaints against MIT target programs that benefit only women and exclude men. They include scholarships, study groups, career networking, graduate-level groups, educational seminars among others. Many of them are set-asides only for middle and high school female students.
Perry also took aim at a program that catered to entrepreneurs who are black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), and another that serves as a professional fund for LGBTQ students of color.
Perry told the Fix that 158 of his complaints have spawned federal civil rights investigations, with about 50 being resolved in his favor. The Fix noted that Perry’s first victory in 2016 prompted Michigan State to change a women-only study lounge to an all-student lounge.
“I expect more federal investigations and favorable resolutions in the future given the clarity of civil rights laws and the unambiguous and indefensible violations of those laws at so many colleges and universities,” Perry wrote on his blog in noting a handful of stories about his recent efforts, including takin on MIT.
Perry noted President Joe Biden issued an executive order on March 8, declaring that “the policy of my Administration (is) that all students should be guaranteed an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex.”
“I couldn’t agree more with President Biden on this issue, and I am hopeful that the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights also agrees with the president and will work with me to enforce Biden’s guarantee of an “educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex [and skin color],” Perry added.
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