Marshall-Race Orientation

August 10, 2006

Marshall University has dropped the words African-American students only from a listing on its fall schedule, following an educational foundation’s warning that it could be violating state and federal law.

In the Fall 2005 course schedule, the racially restrictive phrase appeared on the comment line for three orientation classes. This year, the phrase has been removed, though the one-credit elective course continues to be offered.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education sent Marshall a letter in November 2005 asking them to drop the language.

The Philadelphia-based nonpartisan, nonprofit group cited court decisions dating back to Brown versus Board of Education’s ruling that separate is not equal in education.

A Marshall spokesman said the courses were proposed and developed nearly a decade ago by black faculty members in hopes of building a sense of community for black freshmen students. Of Marshall’s nine-thousand-861 undergraduates, less than five percent — or 462 — are black.

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Schools: Marshall University Cases: Marshall University: Racially Restricted Orientation Classes