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Texas Tech medical school, under pressure from the Trump administration, agrees to stop considering race in admissions

Key Points
  • The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, under pressure from the Department of Education, will no longer consider race as a factor in its medical school admissions process, according to an agreement signed by the health center's president in February. 
  • The agreement, which was reviewed by CNBC, comes nearly 14 years after the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights launched an investigation into whether the center's admissions policies violated the Civil Rights Act's prohibition on racial discrimination.
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
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The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, under pressure from the Department of Education, will no longer consider race as a factor in its medical school admissions process, according to an agreement signed by the health center's president in February.

The agreement, which was reviewed by CNBC, comes nearly 14 years after the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights launched an investigation into whether the center's admissions policies violated the Civil Rights Act's prohibition on racial discrimination. The Office for Civil Rights is also investigating admissions practices at Harvard and Yale.

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The move appears to be the first time the Trump administration has secured a commitment from a school to no longer consider race in admissions. The agreement requires that the school revise all of its admissions and recruitment materials by September. The pact's existence was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The Trump administration has been hostile to affirmative action policies, which were encouraged under President Barack Obama. In July, the Departments of Justice and Education announced that they had scrapped Obama-era policy guidelines that called on schools to factor in the race of their applicants in order to achieve diversity.

"The Supreme Court has issued clear guidance on the appropriate consideration of race in college admissions," Liz Hill, press secretary for the Education Department, said in a statement.

The Supreme Court has long upheld affirmative action under certain conditions and did so again recently in a 2016 case involving the University of Texas.

A representative for the medical school did not immediately provide comment.