By Ryan Lovelace, The College Fix
Butler University has awarded endowed scholarships on the basis of race and gender, The College Fix has learned.
Butler removed the listing of all endowed scholarships, totaling approximately $2.4 million, from the university website before the 2013-2014 school year after inquiry from a parent of a prospective student.
The “race-conscious” scholarships Butler has offered include scholarships that are only awarded to African-American students, an award limited to “a female student of Hispanic descent,” an award limited to “a woman of Indian descent” (unless Butler cannot find one) and an award that declares, “Preference will be given to Caucasian undergraduates enrolled in the College of Business.” The whites-preferred scholarship was created after the benefactor’s wife died in 2002, according to literature from Butler’s College of Business.
Roger Clegg, president and counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity who worked as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Reagan and Bush administrations and held the second highest position in the Civil Rights Division, said Butler’s status as a private institution does not impact the legality of the scholarships in a state such as Indiana.
“What’s relevant is the federal law,” Clegg said. “And the federal law applies essentially the same way to both public universities and private universities because private universities all get federal money, except for two, which you know [are] Grove City and Hillsdale.”
As a private institution that accepts federal money, Clegg said, Butler is prohibited from racial discrimination under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which the Supreme Court has ruled is coextensive with the Constitution in banning discrimination.
“If the university is involved, either in funding the scholarship or in choosing the recipient, then I think that you would have a hard time justifying a scholarship that is racially exclusive,” Clegg said.