On Wednesday, Buzzfeed News reported it had learned that the Justice Department began conducting an investigation, which is likely ongoing, into admissions practices at Harvard.
The existence of the investigation is suggested in a DoJ letter, obtained by Buzzfeed News through a records request, dated September 29. Buzzfeed News had requested records about DoJ investigations into admissions practices at both Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While the letter openly admitted that the DoJ did not find records related to UNC, it did not say the same about Harvard. Buzzfeed News interpreted the non-denial as a tacit acknowledgment of an investigation underway at Harvard.
“Given that the department said it found no records about the University of North Carolina,” Buzzfeed News reports, “the letter appeared to acknowledge that there are records about an investigation into Harvard, and that the investigation is ongoing.”
Additionally, a spokesperson for American Oversight, one of the groups that filed the records request (FOIA), told Buzzfeed News that the DoJ had confirmed the “active” investigation at Harvard with them.
In August, the New York Times reported that the Trump administration planned to redirect DoJ resources toward investigating and possibly suing universities over affirmative action policies. You never know when this White House will actually follow through on something it says it’s going to do, or just do something totally different, but in this case, so far, they appear woefully on track.