UMinn reconsiders summer internship designed only for 'students of color'
The University of Minnesota is re-examining a summer internship program that was initially offered only to 'students of color.'
The university's changes to the Pathways program arrived shortly after Cornell Law School Professor William Jacobson filed a complaint to the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.
The University of Minnesota (U-M) is re-examining a summer internship program that was initially offered only to “students of color.”
The Pathways to Graduate School: Summer Research Program (“Pathways”) eligibility requirements have since been amended to require that applicants are either U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or possibly “those with unique citizenship status.”
U-M’s changes to the Pathways program arrived shortly after Cornell Law School Professor William Jacobson filed a complaint to the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. “There is an increasing trend where people think it’s OK to discriminate on the basis of race as long as the discrimination is against whites or Asians or others, and we don’t accept that,” he told The New York Post.
A U-M representative informed The Post that the school was “evaluating the criteria for this student support program…and [would] make any appropriate updates.”
As of this reporting, however, a small portion of the Pathways webpage still notes that the program is intended for “undergrads of color.”
The U-M website also identifies Pathways as “an intensive 10 week summer program in which undergraduate students work full-time with a faculty mentor on a research project. The cohort-based program includes a series of seminars preparing students for graduate school and developing research skills.“
Enrollees are eligible to receive a “$6,000 stipend for personal and research expenses.”
Should the university allow the Pathways race-based requirement to remain intact, a majority of undergraduate students would be excluded from the program.
Additional Pathways requirements include that the applicant be at least a U-M sophomore, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and complete a minimum of 45 credits by the conclusion of the last fall semester.
After being contacted by Campus Reform, a U-M public relations official stated that the program “has a history that goes back to the 1980s and was developed in part to address the large underrepresentation of students of color at the graduate or professional level.”
The U-M spokesperson also provided Campus Reform with the statement: “The University regularly revisits the selection criteria across thousands of different grants, scholarships, and other financial awards provided to our students each year and we are evaluating the criteria of this program as part of this routine process to make any appropriate updates.”
This is an ongoing story. Campus Reform will make any appropriate updates accordingly.