Feds threaten to sue Harvard to obtain admissions records

Harvard Widener Library
Pedestrians walk past the Widener Library at Harvard University campus. –The Boston Globe

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department is pressing Harvard University to release a trove of records as part of an investigation into the school’s admissions practices.

A Nov. 17 letter from the department threatens to sue Harvard if it doesn’t release all documents requested by Justice officials by Dec. 1.

Justice officials say Harvard has pursued a “strategy of delay” and hasn’t provided a single record.

The investigation is related to a federal lawsuit filed by a group of students in 2014 alleging Harvard illegally limits the number of Asian Americans it admits each year.

A statement from Harvard says it “will certainly comply with its obligations” but also needs to protect confidential student records. It says the university wants to work with the department on “the best means of doing so.”