Earlier this month, Dartmouth College announced a new $100 million STEM program.
According to a press release, the program will help “historically underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”
But it appears that white male students need not apply. The press release identifies those who will benefit from the initiative as “Black, Latinx, and Native Americans” as well as women.
Several experts on Title IX sex discrimination and Title VI race discrimination law are concerned about the legality of the program, according to comments they made to The College Fix.
The program will be partially funded by a $25 million grant from Penny and James Coulter, a billionaire couple who made money through their private equity company TPG Capital. In addition to the Coulters’ grant, Dartmouth has raised $35 million to fund the program and seeks to raise an additional $40 million, bringing the total cost to $100 million.
The Fix reached out multiple times to Dartmouth’s media team and the Coulters through their company to ask about the specifics of the program and if they had any concerns about granting awards based on race rather than merit but did not receive a response to inquiries sent in the past week.
The initiative will include “an undergraduate scholarship program,” “curricular innovation,” and “enhanced career and graduate school advising,” all with the goal of “advanc[ing] STEM participation and leadership of underrepresented groups,” according to the university’s news release.
The program is a “three-year, cohesive diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic plan that cuts across both academic and administrative areas of the institution.”
Bion Bartning, the founder and president of the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism, a civil rights legal advocacy group, told The Fix in an email that a scholarship program which excludes individuals based on skin color would not be “lawful.”