Harvard to Comply With Ruling Striking Down Race-Based Admissions

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling struck down Harvard's and UNC's race-conscious student admissions programs.

By Caitlin Webber & Doina Chiacu

Harvard University says it will comply with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down its race-conscious student admissions programs in a way that will preserve its values on diversity and opportunity in higher education.

“We will certainly comply with the Court’s decision,” the prestigious university said in a statement on June 29.

“In the weeks and months ahead, drawing on the talent and expertise of our Harvard community, we will determine how to preserve, consistent with the Court’s new precedent, our essential values.”

The Supreme Court ruling involving Harvard and the University of North Carolina was a sharp setback to affirmative action policies often used to increase the number of Black, Hispanic and other underrepresented minority groups on campuses.

The blockbuster decision will force many colleges and universities to overhaul their admissions policies. The justices ruled that affirmative action admissions programs that consider an applicant’s race in ways like Harvard and UNC did violate the U.S. Constitution’s promise of equal protection under the law.

Powered by the conservative justices with the liberals in dissent, the court ruled in favor of a group called Students for Fair Admissions, founded by anti-affirmative action activist Edward Blum, in its appeal of lower court rulings upholding programs used at the two prestigious schools to foster a diverse student population. The vote counts were 6-3 against UNC and 6-2 against Harvard.

The 386-year-old Ivy League school’s top administrators issued a letter to the Harvard community that was essentially a reprimand to the high court.

They reaffirmed Harvard’s commitment to diversity and the debate it fosters as essential to academic excellence.

Harvard values a student body that reflects different facets of the human experience, the letter said, and it believes the university should be a place of opportunity, “a place whose doors remain open to those to whom they had long been closed.”

This article was provided by Reuters.

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