Muhlenberg Joins Higher Ed Coalition in Support of Princeton University Against Department of Education Investigation

President Kathleen Harring is one of over 80 college presidents who signed the letter of support.

By: Kristine Yahna Todaro  Friday, September 25, 2020 08:18 AM

Earlier this month, Princeton University provided a community update of their ongoing efforts to combat systemic racism across the institution. On September 16, the U.S. Department of Education launched an investigation into the university based on their stated nondiscrimination practices. 

Many in higher education see the investigation as an overt threat by the department against schools seeking to rectify generations of racial bias on their campuses.

Along with more than 80 college and university leaders, President Kathleen Harring signed a statement co-authored by Presidents Biddy Martin of Amherst College and Michael S. Roth of Wesleyan University urging the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to abandon its investigation into Princeton. 

The statement reads, in part, “Across the nation, individuals, families, communities, businesses, corporations, and educational institutions are coming to grips with the country’s legacies of slavery and racial oppression, which stretch back over four hundred years. Recently, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education announced that it will be investigating Princeton University for possible misrepresentations in its reports of adherence to federal non-discrimination law because its president publicly recognized that historic racism has been embedded in the institution over time…. 

“As presidents of colleges and universities, we, too, acknowledge the ways that racism has affected and continues to affect the country’s institutions, including our own. We stand together in recognizing the work we still need to do if we are ever 'to perfect the union,' and we urge the Department of Education to abandon its ill-considered investigation of Princeton University.”

READ FULL STATEMENT: Presidents' Letter Regarding DOE's Princeton Investigation