President Joe Biden has long kept his thumb on the scale against college students accused of sexual misconduct. The accused, overwhelmingly, are men, so his efforts have been discriminatory in outcome if not also in intent.
His alma mater, the University of Delaware, also pervasively discriminates in favor of women and against men. Let me count the ways.
Worst is Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, where I count six violations of Title IX, the federal law that bans discrimination based on sex. The lion’s share of the violations lie with the Lerner College’s Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI).
WLI runs an executive education program, “RISE UP,” exclusively for mid-career women. It also runs Female Faculty Connections, exclusively for female faculty. For just $8,000, an organization can enroll a cohort of up to 10 women (no men allowed) in WLI’s new Women’s Leadership Online Certificate Program.
The University of Delaware may think it is doing the right thing, based on its interpretation of national statistics about women versus men in business roles. But the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has explained that discrimination for such a reason still violates Title IX.
On Jan. 14, OCR issued a “Questions and Answers” document reiterating a longstanding interpretation of Title IX that an institution may not “rely on national statistics as evidence of limited participation, but must instead clearly articulate why the particular sex-based scholarship or program was necessary to overcome the conditions in its own education program or activity which resulted in limited participation therein.”
Yet national statistics are at the root of WLI’s choice to discriminate: “We still face discrimination, pay inequities, and remain a minority in leadership roles. … The Women’s Leadership Initiative works with students, faculty, alumni and the executive community to address these issues.”
So, if the Lerner College would like to admit and document its own possible history of discrimination on the basis of sex, then claim that these discriminatory programs exist to redress its own past bias, these programs might survive Title IX scrutiny. Right now, they won’t.
Added to the mix is President Biden’s executive order on transgenderism, which doesn’t just let boys into girls’ sports. It also lets boys and men who claim to be female penetrate everywhere schools and colleges have reserved for actual girls and women. That includes programs that currently violate the Title IX ban on sex discrimination by excluding males.
In other words, Biden’s administration insists a school or college that discriminates against males must stop discriminating against them—but only if the males claim to be females. But discrimination against males who live in sync with their biology runs unchecked, with university support, even though that is illegal under Title IX.
At UD, there’s a lot more of that than what I’ve already mentioned. The business college’s “ASCEND” certificate program is exclusively for female undergraduates. WLI has also partnered with the university’s Advance Institute on yet another leadership program for mid-career women, this one exclusively for female faculty, called “ADVANCE Women’s Leadership @ UD.”
Finally, the business college came up with a new discriminatory program in the COVID era, when its Finance Department created a program specific to helping first-year female undergraduates adjust to college life. This “nest” group met throughout the past semester.
All of that was just at Lerner. Meanwhile, the University of Delaware offers or advertises a lot of scholarship and grant money exclusively for female students. Men may not apply.
UD’s Advance Institute offers “mini-grants” for “women’s leadership.” But the big money is in the scholarships that discriminate on the basis of sex. These scholarships appear not to be part of any pooled scholarship program that would be consistent with Title IX requirements, and there appear to be no coordinate scholarship offerings for male students.
There are the Mae Carter Scholarship ($1,500) and the African Violet Memorial Award ($1,000). The local branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) provides an annual $500 award to a female college senior. There are the Bessie B. Collins Award ($500) and the Lila C. Murphy Award for Women’s Equity and Leadership ($200)—and more.
Furthermore, OCR has made it clear that advertising third-party scholarships that discriminate on the basis of sex also violates Title IX. The University of Delaware does plenty of that. I found 13 across four different scholarship lists. These include AAUW scholarships as well as AARP Foundation scholarships for the elder crowd of “women [not men] 40+ seeking new job skills.”
In Teamsters v. United States in 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court noted that discrimination is not limited to direct signs that people will see (like “women only”) but can include “actual practices” such as how the opportunity is publicized. All of these programs and listings suggest that the University of Delaware suffers from pervasive discrimination on the basis of sex—against men.
That’s why I recently filed a Title IX complaint with OCR against the University of Delaware. I wonder what President Biden thinks about the poor state of sex equity at his alma mater.