Chapman University President Daniele C. Struppa sent the following message to the campus community Thursday morning regarding the Supreme Court decision on two cases regarding affirmative action.
Today we learned the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions on Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina. In an opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Court ruled that both Harvard and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were illegally discriminating based on race and violating the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.
While it is important to point out that Chapman’s existing admission process does not single out race as a deciding factor, I believe that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions on these cases amount to government overreach into admission practices and what I view as an intrusion into how we fulfill our mission.
Universities should choose how to build the best possible class to enhance the learning experience for their students. This is ultimately an academic decision, and an institution must be able to make choices that reflect the students it seeks to enroll and the alumni it seeks to graduate. Chapman’s mission is to provide a personalized education of distinction that leads to inquiring, ethical and productive lives as global citizens. To develop global citizens, we must create a community of individuals with diverse lived experiences.
I am concerned about the effect that this decision will have on applications, enrollment, and the graduation of students from historically underserved communities, as well as the negative impact not only on these students but their families, our workforce, and society as a whole.
Chapman will maintain its focus on becoming a Hispanic-Serving Institution and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution. More broadly, we will continue to work to ensure students from all races, ethnic groups, religious beliefs, disability, gender identities, and economic circumstances know they are welcomed at Chapman. While we will stay within the framework of the law, we remain committed to continuing our essential work to grow and support our diverse community and stay true to our mission.
About Chapman University
Founded in 1861, Chapman University is a nationally ranked private university located in Southern California. Chapman is categorized by the Carnegie Classification as an R2 “high research activity” institution and offers personalized education to more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The campus has produced a Rhodes Scholar, been named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, and hosts a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society. Based in the city of Orange, Chapman also includes the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine. In 2019, the university opened its 11th college, Fowler School of Engineering, in its newest facility, Keck Center for Science and Engineering. Learn more about Chapman University: www.chapman.edu.
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