Letter and review from Dewey E. Dodds to E. Bruce Heilman

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Letter and review from Dewey E. Dodds to E. Bruce Heilman


This September 22, 1979 letter is from Dewey E. Dodds, Director of the Office for Civil Rights Region III, and is addressed to University of Richmond President Dr. E. Bruce Heilman. Dodds begins the letter by expressing appreciation to University staff for cooperation in the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) compliance review. The review was conducted to determine if the University of Richmond graduate and professional schools were in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The letter then excerpts passages from each of these legal documents. The "review revealed that the University of Richmond previously discriminated against minority applicants" on basis of race, and also had no affirmative action plan designed. As there was still no affirmative action plan, the University was found to not be in compliance with Title VI. Dodds notes that the University's "discriminatory policy is cited in Reuben S. Alley's, "The History of the University of Richmond, 1830-1971," written in collaboration with the University's Board of Trustees. In the History, Alley reported that "blacks were not admitted to the university" prior to 1964. The review established that the University does not specifically target minority applicants, thus reflecting "this lack of affirmative effort." The review found no evidence that the University discriminated on the basis of race, however, the University was not considering race in the application review process. Dodds writes that the University had recruited "significantly lower" graduate and law students, with the University law school having only 4.5 percent minority students, as compared to the Virginia average of 13.3 percent. The review did not find evidence, past or present, of discrimination against women or "the handicapped", however, Dodds lays out specific details for an affirmative action process. These details include targeted recruitment at "traditionally black institutions," and assuring students of financial aid benefits. The review details how counselling and referral services should be available to all students to assure retention rates and track movement through the school toward a degree program. Dodds outlines plans for a more robust job placement center at the law school, as the current center "may not operate in a completely racially unbiased manner." Dodds notes that one student "alleged that a racially restricted job announcement had been posted in the placement center." The review details accessibility protocol, saying that the University's current transition plan was "unacceptable under the regulations." Dodds sets a deadline of June 2, 1980 to complete the transition plan for structural changes. The review found that the University was in compliance with Title IX "except for the lack of a satisfactory self-evaluation and transition plan", and also found that the University was not in compliance and currently in violation of Title VI "with respect to recruitment and admissions." Dodds sets a deadline of June 2, 1980 to complete directives and achieve compliance with title VI. Dodds directs Heilman to contact the Director of the OCR Postsecondary Education Division, Robert Harvey, for any assistance. William H. Leftwich and R. Moxley are copied on the letter. The letter is signed on behalf of Dodds by Ronald Gilliam.


Letter from Dewey E. Dodds to E. Bruce Heilman, 22 September 1979, 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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Dodds, Dewey E. and Gilliam, Ronald, “Letter and review from Dewey E. Dodds to E. Bruce Heilman,” University of Richmond Race & Racism Project, accessed April 20, 2024, https://memory.richmond.edu/items/show/2233.