(PresidentialInsider.com)- According to recent a report in the Washington Free Beacon, Microsoft is capping the number of white and Asian students universities are allowed to nominate for its research fellowship program.
The Microsoft Research Ph.D. Fellowship, which includes a generous $42,000 stipend, allows participating universities to nominate as many as four students each year. But Microsoft requires that at least two of the four nominees must “self-identify as a woman, African American, Black, Hispanic, Latinx, Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Indigenous Peoples, LGBTQI+, active or veteran service member, and/or person with a disability.”
In other words, anybody who doesn’t fall into the categories of white or Asian.
If this sounds familiar, it should.
The Free Beacon had previously reported that Google’s research fellowship program, not to mention a similar program from IBM, was also requiring universities to limit the number of white and Asian candidates.
The practice is illegal under the Civil Rights Act of 1866.
What’s more, it is in violation of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act for universities that receive federal funding to nominate students based on race. The prestigious universities that participate in Microsoft’s fellowship program run the risk of losing their federal funding if they follow the criteria laid out by Microsoft.
This week, the Free Beacon reported that both IBM and Google dropped the mandatory caps after the Free Beacon’s reporting warning that the practice was illegal.
In Google’s updated criteria universities are only “strongly” encouraged to prioritize non-White and non-Asian candidates. Meanwhile, IBM changed its language to suggest that universities merely “consider” nominating “a diverse slate of candidates.”
In July, Amazon was hit with a class-action complaint over its program that gives $10,000 stipends for the launch of delivery start-ups to “Black, Latinx, and Native American entrepreneurs.” The lawsuit alleges that the program violates the 1866 Civil Rights Act because whites and Asians are not eligible.