UMich prof wages war on women-only scholarships, programs

Two women-only scholarships offered by the University of Minnesota were altered after a complaint filed by an alum, Mark Perry.

Perry, who is also a professor at the University of Michigan, claims that he has filed "more than 20 Title IX complaints" against schools offering such programs.

A University of Michigan professor is fighting gender discrimination by targeting women-only scholarships and STEM summer camps.

University of Michigan-Flint Professor Mark Perry is stepping up a months-long challenge against several public and private colleges around the United States alleging Title IX abuses and gender discrimination practices, Alpha News MN reported. The professor has recently targeted his alma mater, the University of Minnesota, for offering women-only scholarships to students. 

“Over the last month, I’ve filed more than 20 Title IX complaints against universities that offer discriminatory single-gender, girl-only STEM programs, without offering comparable single-gender, boy-only STEM programs.” Perry wrote in a post on the American Enterprise Institute’s website, where he serves as a visiting scholar.

The professor went on to state that universities should not embrace an “Animal Farm principle that all gender identities are equal in theory, but one gender is more than equal than all other gender identities in practice.”

Perry’s efforts against his alma mater culminated last month when UMN announced that the eligibility criteria for two scholarships had been changed to be gender-inclusive and that a third scholarship was under review. 

“The University is committed to offering access and opportunity to individuals of all gender identities,” UMN spokeswoman Emmalynn Bauer told Campus Reform. “The University regularly reviews the selection criteria for scholarships to ensure, among other things, that they are consistent with evolving understandings of gender identity and laws protecting against discrimination based on gender identity.”

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Perry also targeted the campus that employs him, the University of Michigan, in May over issues with 11 scholarships that were only available to women.

“In all 11 cases above, it would appear that female students, faculty, patients are being granted preferential treatment and male and gender non-conforming students, patients, and faculty are being excluded, in possible violation of the three statutes and policies above,” he said about the Title IX complaints in a May AEI piece.

Perry’s efforts have now begun to impact other colleges that offer all-women STEM summer camps and courses. 

The University of St. Thomas and Macalester College, which have hosted women-only STEM summer camps for those in elementary, middle and high school, are two of the professor’s most recent targets.

Macalester College has partnered with iD Tech, a summer computer camp program, offering a one-week summer camp called “Alexa Cafe” exclusively to girls between the ages of 10-15 years of age who want to pursue an interest in the STEM field. Perry has called out the college for hosting the program and for it not being gender-inclusive, according to the Associated Press.

“The organization rented classroom space and lodging in residence halls,” Macalester spokeswoman Barbara Laskin told Campus Reform, addressing the school’s hosting of the program. “Macalester was not involved in organizing or promoting the camp.”

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At St. Thomas, the issue arises from a STEM summer camp called “STEPS,” which is open only to girls who are in grades sixth through eighth. The school’s engineering department offers the camp.

A St. Thomas spokesman did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.

Perry is also encouraging students to file Title IX complaints if they see abuses or gender discrimination on their campuses.

“You can see that it’s pretty easy,” Perry wrote in AEI. “And there are likely thousands of single-gender, female-only scholarships, awards, fellowships, initiatives, programs, summer camps, clubs, etc. that are ripe for a Title IX investigation.”

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