Title VI, Title IX, and the Private University: Defining “Recipient” and “Program or Part Thereof”

This Note explores the meaning of “recipient” and “program or part thereof’ in title VI and title IX. Section I studies federal court definitions of “recipient” and the legislative history of title VI; it concludes that only organizations that exercise discretion in disbursing federal funds to students are “recipients.” Section II explores the “program or part thereof’ language as applied to the university by examining legislative history and recent discrimination cases. It argues that, since Congress sought to protect beneficiaries both from discrimination and from overbroad cutoffs, courts and agencies should draw the perimeters of a funds cutoff by balancing the effect of each of these hazards on the students. The Note therefore concludes that both “recipient” and “program or part thereof’ should be defined in terms of the ultimate beneficiaries of federal aid – the students.