Affirmative Action in Higher Education
On June 23, 2003, the Supreme Court issued two landmark decisions addressing race and ethnicity-conscious admission in higher education.
The Court affirmed that student body diversity is a compelling governmental interest that permits colleges and universities to consider race and ethnicity in admission, as long as they do so in a "narrowly tailored" manner.
Carnegie Mellon believed this issue to be so important that it led in the preparation of an Amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court urging the Court to affirm, in accordance with Justice Powell's opinion in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, that some consideration of race, as one of many factors in the selection of students for admission to a college or university, comports with the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. To better understand Carnegie Mellon's commitment to creating a diverse university community of students, faculty and staff it is necessary to appreciate the commitment of President Cohon to this issue and his actions to establish the Carnegie Mellon Diversity Advisory Council.