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U. Buffalo rewrites ‘minority and women’ business program after federal complaint

Website scrubbed soon after complaint

The University at Buffalo opened up an entrepreneurship program to all races and both sexes following a federal civil rights complaint.

“To apply, you must own a business in the Buffalo-Niagara region,” the M&T Bank Emerging Entrepreneurs Program now states.

The public university previously required applicants to be a female or racial minority business owner in the region.

Frequent Title VI and Title IX complaint filer Mark Perry appears to have effected the change after filing a federal complaint with the Department of Education and informing the university of the potential legal problems.

“How does UB reconcile its stated commitment to equality of opportunity without regard to an individual’s sex or race with a discriminatory Program that illegally and unethically excludes certain business owners based on their sex, race, color, or national origin,” Perry asked in an email to university leadership. He shared the email with The College Fix.

He said this is just another example of when a university creates a new program that excludes on the basis of race or sex and is either ignorant or does not care about the legal implications.

“In those hundreds of cases, the university staff members never consider getting legal clearance from the Office for General Counsel before introducing, promoting, and offering the new program,” Perry said in emailed comments to The Fix.

He said further:

University lawyers usually don’t do a very good job of reviewing new or existing programs for compliance with federal civil rights laws, thereby allowing new discriminatory programs like this to be introduced and promoted without being challenged. However, once university lawyers are made aware of a federal civil rights violation that jeopardizes a school’s access to federal funds, they are often quite motivated to correct the violation, like in this case.

The website still contains traces of the original nature of the program.

A video, still posted on the university website, calls it the “M&T Bank Minority and Women Emerging Entrepreneurs Program.”

“Designed to assist historically underrepresented entrepreneurs grow their businesses to the next stage of development,” a description above the video still reads.

This is one of many complaints Perry has filed that have led to change. Vermont Technical College opened its “coder camp” to both sexes after Perry filed a complaint, The Fix reported in 2020.

A handful of “diversity” scholarships were also changed following complaints from Perry and his work with Do No Harm.

Editor’s note: Perry is an editorial consultant to The Fix on an unrelated project.

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IMAGES: University at Buffalo; Mark Perry

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.