Letter from W. Carter Younger to Lee Nell

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Letter from W. Carter Younger to Lee Nell


This February 5, 1980 letter is from University of Richmond legal counsel W. Carter Younger and is addressed to Lee Nell, Assistant Regional Attorney for the Department of Health, Education & Welfare (HEW), Region III. The letter confirms a conversation between Younger and Nell regarding the University discussion with HEW. The Department of Health, Education & Welfare issued a determination letter on September 1979, stating the "University does not discriminate against blacks, but that prior to the passage of Title VI in 1964, it discriminated against blacks in admissions to its graduate and professional schools." Younger writes that the Department of Health, Education & Welfare maintains that the University should adopt affirmative action practices to increase "black enrollment percentages." Younger argues that "University does not agree that there was any statutory violation" that would require affirmative action, and notes that the University already has taken steps toward voluntary affirmative action. Younger writes that the sole dispute between HEW and the University "is whether the University must have an affirmative action plan which sets forth numerical goals and timetables," and references objections in letters sent December 28, 1979, and January 21, 1980. Younger explains that the Law School enrolls a "higher percentage of blacks than comparable private institutions," as well as the state operated University of Virginia Law School and the William & Mary Law Schools. Excerpting a statistic from the Association of American Law Schools and the Law School Admission Council, "the percentage of blacks enrolled in law schools nationally was 4.399" and Richmond enrolls "4.5% blacks, actually exceeding the national average." Younger questions the source of HEW's statistics. Younger also writes that HEW has not provided the University with goals and timetables, and while the University considered a meeting with HEW representatives, that because of the "agency's rigid insistence" on timetables, that such a meeting would not be productive. As a result, Younger cancels an upcoming meeting with Mr. Harvey and Mr. Thatcher of HEW scheduled for February 12, 1980.


Letter from W. Carter Younger to Lee Nell, 5 February 1980, RG 6.2.5 Box 25 Folder 5 “U.S. Government - HEW - Civil Rights "Compliance Review" (April 1979), University Archives, Virginia Baptist Historical Society.










Richmond (Va.)

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Younger, W. Carter, “Letter from W. Carter Younger to Lee Nell,” University of Richmond Race & Racism Project, accessed April 20, 2024, https://memory.richmond.edu/items/show/2228.