The University of South Carolina had scrapped a business school workshop, seemingly after a conservative economic professor filed a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Department of Education.
As the conservative website Campus Reform reported, the Moore Business Success Academy at USC had slated a near weeklong seminar for high school juniors and seniors at the end of June.
The program targeted students seeking business degrees at USC. According to the school, the participants would live on campus and participate in “social and professional development activities.”
Those who finished could qualify for a $5,000-a-year scholarship.
To get in, a prospective student needed to have a GPA of at least 3.5 and a letter of recommendation and submit a writing sample, identify a “social cause that you are passionate about,” and explain why.
There was one other entry qualification.
“Student must identify as African American or Black, Hispanic, LatinX, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or Two or More Races,” the school stated.
Enter Mark Perry.
On May 4, Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint, sent a letter to the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights. He called for an investigation, complaining that USC was “promoting and planning to offer an illegally racially discriminating, racially segegated, racially exclusive program on its campus.”
He asserted the program’s qualifications “will illegally exclude and discriminate against some students on the basis of race, color and national origin” – meaning whites.
Campus Reform noted on Wednesday that USC posted a web notice saying, “This form has been deactivated and is closed to any further submissions.”
Campus Reform noted that it asked USC to explain why the link was taken down, the news of which was reported after the group’s original May 3 story on the Moore program and Perry’s subsequent complaint. The university had not responded as of Thursday.
“I guess they never bothered to check with the lawyer to find out that it was clearly a legal violation of federal civil rights laws,” Perry told Campus Reform.
“Universities violate civil rights laws so frequently because they assume they won’t get caught or exposed,” he added.
Perry also told Campus Reform that he is pursuing the complaint to force USC to open the Moore seminar to all students.
“I think the ultimate outcome goal (is) just for them to not discriminate on the basis of race and color, which they should have known in the beginning,” Perry told Campus Reform. “But, now that they’ve gotten caught, that’s what my goal is for them.”
“There’s just no legal defense for them to be able to continue with that program in its current format, and the current restrictions that they have on eligibility requirements.”
It’s unclear whether it will still take place.
Campus Reform noted that Perry has filed 646 complaints for such violations of federal law. Overall, 246 led to federal investigations, with 152 resolved in Perry’s favor.