Michigan and CUNY Mishandled Discrimination Complaints, Education Dept. Finds

The University of Michigan and the City University of New York mishandled complaints of discrimination on campus during widespread protests over the war in Gaza, the Education Department announced on Monday.

The department’s Office for Civil Rights has opened dozens of investigations into antisemitism and anti-Arab discrimination as students held rallies and set up encampments in support of Palestinians and called for their schools to divest from Israel.

The Michigan and New York cases were only the first to reach a conclusion. More are expected to finish in the coming weeks and months as schools continue to reckon with the limits of free speech in academic settings.

Under the terms of the agreements announced on Monday, the schools must step up their reporting of complaints to the Office for Civil Rights and revisit their training of employees, including campus police officers, about their obligations under federal law.

“Sadly, we have witnessed a series of deeply concerning incidents in recent months,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said. “There’s no question that this is a challenging moment for school communities across the country.”

“The recent commitments made by the University of Michigan and CUNY mark a positive step forward,” he said.

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