Today’s Supreme Court Ruling on Race and Admissions
Dear members of the Northwestern community,
Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that struck down the race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina, a move that will impact Northwestern and other institutions of higher education.
I am deeply disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision. While we will, of course, abide by the ruling, I strongly disagree with the interpretation of the Constitution reflected in the majority opinion, a decision that will make it more difficult for Northwestern to achieve one of our imperatives — the promotion of diversity, inclusion and belonging on our campuses.
For months, a working group of University leaders, convened by Provost Kathleen Hagerty, has been examining Northwestern’s current practices and how we might adapt them to potential disruptions caused by this ruling. The group — and I — will now turn our attention to ensuring the University moves forward, within the law, while still protecting and supporting our institutional commitment to diversity.
There is much to find problematic in the Court’s decision, but for me, among the most troubling elements is the doubt it casts on the importance of a diverse class in enhancing our educational mission. As I said in May, we are and will remain devoted to the goal of diversity. Bringing together people of different backgrounds, viewpoints and experiences enables us to learn from one another and propels our research, arts and discovery to new levels, allowing us to have an even greater impact on the world. Today’s ruling does not change that commitment.
In the coming days, we will review the Supreme Court’s ruling and continue dialogues with students, staff, faculty and administrators across the University, mindful that we are doing this as we prepare to welcome the most diverse class of undergraduate students in Northwestern history in the fall. All of our students — future and returning — belong here. We will support every one of them and provide an inclusive and welcoming community for all.