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ED Office for Civil Rights Reaches Agreement Regarding Title VI Complaints

The University of Michigan has entered into a resolution agreement with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to register its commitment to compliance with Title VI of the of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Catherine E. LhamonCatherine E. LhamonComplaints arose about the university’s responses to allegations of discrimination or harassment, including based on shared Jewish ancestry and shared Palestinian or Muslim ancestry. OCR reviewed documentation of 75 similar reports from the 2022-23 school year through February 2024.

OCR stated that it found no evidence that the university complied with its Title VI requirements to assess whether incidents individually or cumulatively created a hostile environment for students, faculty, or staff, and if so, to take steps reasonably calculated to end the hostile environment, remedy its effects, and prevent its recurrence.

The university plans for its Equity, Civil Rights and Title IX (ECRT) office to assume primary responsibility for addressing Title VI complaints, and it committed to:

· Reviewing case files for each report of discrimination and/or harassment based on shared ancestry during the 2023-2024 school year,

· Reporting to OCR on its responses to reports of discrimination over the next two school years,

· Revising as necessary university policies and procedures to ensure they adequately address the Title VI prohibition on discrimination,

· Ensuring the university coordinates compliance with Title VI through its ECRT office,

· Training employees regarding the university’s obligations under Title VI, and

· Administering a climate assessment for students and employees to evaluate the extent to which students and employees experience discrimination and harassment.

The agreement is expected to put the university on a path to ensure that all its students may study without antisemitic discrimination or discrimination based on the region of the world they and their families come from, according to Catherine E. Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights.

“I am grateful to the University of Michigan for its speedy commitment to course correct following the volatile campus conditions since October 2023,” said Lhamon.

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