Elite University Backpedals On Seemingly Racist Taxpayer-Funded Program

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Elite University Backpedals On Seemingly Racist Taxpayer-Funded Program

Daily Caller News Foundation


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The University of Chicago backpedaled on its description of its taxpayer-funded research program which appears to be offered to “underrepresented minority groups,” the university told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Thursday.

The description for the University of Chicago Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program in Physics says the program offers undergraduate students of underrepresented minority groups, including African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and women, an opportunity to work in a research group at the university, according to the institution’s website. When asked why the program is exclusive to minority students, REU claimed to the DCNF that the program description is an “error” and it is “open to all,” but they have not been able to change the website.

“That description is in error,” a spokesperson for REU told the DCNF. “Our program is open to all … I seem to have not been able to eliminate the statement from the web-o-sphere, despite my best efforts.”

The National Science Foundation (NSF), a federal agency which supports science and engineering programs in higher education, provided the university with $392,719 for the program from 2021 to 2024, according to NSF’s website.

The program description says it offers undergraduates of “underrepresented minority groups” the opportunity to gain research experience and is “particularly intended” at minority students’ participation, the university website said. REU University of Chicago did not respond to any more of the DCNF questions to clarify what description is an “error.”

Participants in the program “must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents” who are currently earning their undergraduate degree with with “a concentration in physics or a related engineering field,” according to the institution’s website.

The university’s backpedaling comes after Christofer Rufo, Manhattan Institute senior fellow, called the scholarship “racially segregated” in a tweet.

“The University of Chicago is offering a racially segregated scholarship that explicitly prohibits white and Asian men from applying,” Rufo wrote Thursday. “This is a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act—U Chicago is brazenly and openly violating the law.”

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Each summer, 10 to 15 students are awarded an internship in the 10-week REU program at the University of Chicago which allows students to work with a research group or in a laboratory for the summer, the university website stated. Students receive a $6,000 stipend, housing and reimbursement for travel.

The NSF and REU University of Chicago confirmed to the DCNF that the agency funds the REU program in physics at the institution. The government agency funds “a large number of research opportunities” through its REU sites program at universities across the country, according to the university website.

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All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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