The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 7-1 decision Monday morning to send a case that could have affected the University of Michigan's affirmative action policies back to a lower court for reconsideration.
As the First Vice President for the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE), I wanted to share the statement that was issued by NADOHE this afternoon. There will be deeper analyses of the implications of the decision forthcoming and I will continue to keep you posted as they emerge.
The University of New Mexico does not weigh race or ethnicity as a consideration in the admissions process, however, the admissions process is designed to be inclusive. In addition, the University of New Mexico utilizes extensive outreach activities to ensure that it recruits a diverse group of students representative of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identification, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, religious affiliation, etc. The University has continued to attract representative numbers of students from New Mexico"s race and ethnic groups. UNM values diversity as a strength in enriching the academic experience of students.
The National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education will continue to review and analyze the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion today in Fisher v University of Texas, Austin, http://www.
supremecourt.gov/opinions/ 12pdf/11-345_l5gm.pdf. Howeve r, we are pleased that the Court did not overturn its earlier approval that diversity in higher education is a compelling national interest. By not overturning its 2003 opinion in Grutter v University of Michigan there is a recognition that talented students from a variety of backgrounds should get a close look and a fair chance at overcoming obstacles to higher education. Providing a diverse learning environment benefits students, our nation’s workforce, and the country as a whole.Dr. Benjamin D. Reese, Jr., President of NADOHE stated: “Over the next days and weeks, NADOHE will continue to review this decision and consult with our member institutions and fellow chief diversity officers as we further analyze the impact of today’s opinion of the Court. We are especially concerned that by not affirming the carefully constructed admission process of the University of Texas, and remanding the case for further proceedings consistent with the Court’s Opinion that the reviewing court must “ultimately be satisfied that no workable race-neutral alternatives would produce the educational benefits of diversity” will require proof of extraordinary efforts to exhaust such race-neutral alternatives.” NADOHE remains committed to the principle that qualified student applicants from a diversity of backgrounds continue to get a close look and fair opportunity to attend all of our nation’s colleges and universities.