COLLEGE STATION, Texas (TND) — Texas A&M’s School of Medicine removed photos of graduating seniors who are white males, which were prominently displayed at the entrance of the school, as an example of the university’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
The school indicated such in a survey completed last year for the Association of American Medical Colleges, a nonprofit accrediting organization. The survey responses, which touted the school’s commitment to DEI, were obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request by the medical watchdog group Do No Harm, which passed along the completed survey to The National Desk (TND).
In the survey, the school cited the fact that it removed "predominantly white male photos of graduating class prominently displayed on the entrance" as an example of promoting inclusive communications and branding.
The survey detailed other institutional commitments to DEI that the school has made, including DEI trainings for faculty, the creation of a “holistic admissions program,” and salary reviews based on “diversity.”
When reached for comment a spokesperson for Texas A&M expressed regret about how the survey response, "unintentionally did not provide the appropriate level of context."
"At Texas A&M we are committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment to create skilled physicians ready to address current and future health needs with a foundation built on the core values of our university," the spokesperson added.
TND followed up with the university spokesperson, seeking to learn if A&M intends to take any action to reinstate any of the photos that were removed from the entryway, but did not immediately obtain a response. If one is received this story will be updated.
Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, board chairman of Do No Harm, told The Washington Examiner that he is concerned medical schools like Texas A&M are sacrificing merit in order to achieve their DEI goals.
“Enhanc[ing] the quality of the medical workforce is the responsibility of medical schools,” Goldfarb told The Examiner. “If they have more capable individuals that they can bring in compared to the ones that they are bringing in because of these requirements for diversity and they're not bringing those more qualified, more capable individuals in, they're eventually producing a workforce that’s going to be less capable.”
According to U.S. News & World Report, Texas A&M’s School of Medicine, which serves over 650 students, ranks 80th on a list of the best medical schools in the nation.
Just last week, a class action lawsuit was filed against six other Texas medical schools for allegedly pushing diversity to the extent that many critics believe violates federal civil rights law.
READ MORE: “Six Texas medical schools sued over alleged discriminatory admissions”
The America First Legal Foundation filed the suit on behalf of a white male student who had been denied admission to all six medical schools. That student later obtained the race, sex, grade-point average and MCAT score data for every applicant he went up against, which proved he had both a GPA and MCAT score well above what many accepted minority applicants had.