U of M celebrates five decades of Title IX while under investigation for violating it

The school has had 10 civil rights complaints filed against it for 23 alleged violations of Title IX since 2018.

University of Minnesota Twin Cities/Facebook

The University of Minnesota will soon commemorate the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the 1972 civil rights legislation that prohibits sex-based discrimination in federally-funded activities and programs, all while facing multiple complaints about violating Title IX.

Alpha News has learned that the U of M has had 10 civil rights complaints filed against it for 23 alleged violations of Title IX since 2018. Three of those complaints are currently under federal investigation. One complaint led the university’s recreation and wellness center to terminate a “women-only gym space” in August 2021.

University of Minnesota alumnus Mark Perry, economics professor emeritus at the University of Michigan-Flint, said he expects the remaining six complaints to be opened for investigation at various points throughout 2022.

“While UM celebrates how Title IX has helped women in athletics and academics at UM, the university is actively engaged in discrimination on the basis of sex against non-females in violation of Title IX,” Perry told Alpha News. “And since UM is under three federal civil rights investigations for violating Title IX, they should not be celebrating their support of Title IX at the same time that the Office for Civil Rights is investigating them for violating Title IX.”

The celebration in question will be a “virtual conversation commemorating 50 years of U of M women’s varsity athletics and Title IX” that takes place on Mar. 31, according to an email from the University of Minnesota Foundation’s events team.

“Tune in as President [Joan] Gabel highlights the tremendous accomplishments of our current and former female student-athletes, coaches, and teams, and sits down with four women who have helped shape the history of U of M women’s varsity athletics,” the email reads.

Perry told Alpha News he has emailed President Gabel on multiple occasions expressing concern with his alma mater’s Title IX violations, but he has never received a response from Gabel — or any other U of M administrators, for that matter.

“Let me suggest that the university needs much greater awareness of federal civil rights laws to address the ongoing violations at the university of Title VI and Title IX,” he wrote in one email to university administration. “As a recipient of federal financial assistance, the university regularly, and falsely certifies to the Department of Education that it is strictly enforcing Title VI and Title IX as a condition of receiving federal funds when it is in fact NOT enforcing federal civil rights laws.”

The three complaints currently under investigation pertain to the following potential violations:

  • Three leadership awards given exclusively to “distinguished” women faculty or staff at U of M.
  • The university’s Women’s Leadership Institute which exclusively serves to develop the “leadership skills” of women, not men.
  • The U of M business school’s Women In Leadership program that only allows women to join and develop their leadership, communication, and negotiation skills.

More recent complaints that have not yet been opened for investigation include several merit-based scholarships that exclude men, a career development program titled Mothers Leading Science, and another career development program called Women in Science & Medicine.

Perry has also identified two potential violations of Title VI, which prohibits race-based discrimination in federally-funded programs or activities.

“U of M … has exhibited a stubborn resistance to protecting the civil rights of all students, faculty and staff by failing to correct the multiple violations that have been brought to its attention,” he said.

Alpha News reached out to the university for comment but did not receive a response.


Evan Stambaugh

Evan Stambaugh is a freelance writer who had previously been a sports blogger. He has a BA in theology and an MA in philosophy.