newsSchools & Higher Education

Eight newly announced US Education Department investigations focus on NY, NJ schools, district

Four of the Title VI probes for alleged discrimination for “shared ancestry” center on the City University of New York.

U.S. Department of Education. Credit: DC Stock Photography/Shutterstock.
U.S. Department of Education. Credit: DC Stock Photography/Shutterstock.

The U.S. Department of Education has announced eight new investigations under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act in the last week and a half.

The department’s Office of Civil Rights, which investigates schools and districts for discrimination involving “shared ancestry,” including antisemitism, is probing the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law, Cornell University, CUNY Queens College, CUNY Hunter College, Columbia University, New Jersey Institute of Technology and Montclair School District.

There are apparently two investigations of Hunter College: one dated April 24 and the other April 23.

The department does not announce the specific reasons for each investigation.

Vince DiMiceli, assistant vice president of communications and marketing at Hunter College, told JNS after the first investigation was announced that the public school received a notice from the Education Department about potential Title VI violations.

“We are committed to cooperating fully with the investigation process,” he said. “Hunter College remains steadfast in its commitment to promoting a diverse and inclusive campus culture.”

Deric Raymond, executive director of content planning and intelligence at N.J. Institute of Technology, told JNS that the public school is aware of the filing and “will cooperate fully with the investigation.

“This complaint does not pertain to antisemitism, and we are confident in our compliance with Title VI,” he told JNS.

According to the Education Department’s website, the investigations of CUNY Queens College, CUNY Hunter College, Columbia University, N.J. Institute of Technology and Montclair School District all pertain to “national origin discrimination involving religion.”

It wasn’t immediately clear from the department’s site if the investigations of Cornell or CUNY School of Law were related to religion.

JNS sought comment from both of those schools, as well as from Columbia and the Montclair district.

“Since this is a legal matter, the college reserves comment,” said Jay Hershenson, vice president for communications and marketing and senior adviser to the president at Queens College.

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