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University of California Reconsidering Nondiscrimination Policy

Changes may allow broader discrimination against non-American researchers.

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The University of California’s (UC) Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action Policy states that the university does not discriminate on the basis of citizenship. Therefore the school does not generally accept public and private sponsors’ restrictions of research based on citizenship. Though, the school does allow American-only researchers in specific cases, such as in federal training programs for young Americans and in classified research. 

However, according to a recent article in Inside Higher Ed, university officials are now discussing changing their nondiscrimination policy to allow for broader discrimination of researchers. The main concerns prompting these initial discussions are research that could harm national security and the current economic climate, in which federal research dollars are becoming scarcer and scarcer. 

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According to a university official quoted by Higher Ed, UC is in the minority in rejecting funding from sources that put limits on researchers’ countries of origin. The issue was supposed to be discussed July 16 at a UC Board of Regents meeting but Wendy Streitz, executive director of research policy analysis and coordination in UC president Janet Napolitano’s office, told Higher Ed that the issue had been put on the agenda by mistake and was removed. 

“If we were to make that shift, it would be a big enough deal that you’d hear about it,” she said to Higher Ed, adding there is “an excellent chance that we’ll stay right where we are–so it doesn’t make sense to put it on anybody’s radar.” 

- With files from Inside Higher Ed