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.