Supreme Court Ruling on Race-Conscious Admissions
Dear Members of the CMU Community:
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Harvard and UNC race-conscious admissions programs cannot be reconciled with the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Our university was founded on a commitment to expand opportunity and access to education, and we remain steadfast in that commitment as key to creating a transformative educational experience for all. While we are studying the opinion to determine the implications for all of our processes, we have confidence in our ability both to follow the law and to promote access and opportunity as essential to fostering a vibrant learning community.
Today, students are admitted to CMU based on a combination of factors, including those that reflect many dimensions of diversity. As noted in the amicus brief to the court we supported last summer, a diverse class of scholars encourages students to question their own assumptions, test perceived truths and appreciate the complexity of the modern world. We fully believe the global composition of our population is core to not only who we are as a university, but also to how we solve real world problems through innovation, creativity and research.
Admissions practices in higher education have been under various legal challenges for at least two decades. Throughout this time, CMU — like most universities — has continuously evaluated our practices to assure both compliance with the law and achievement of our mission to enroll a diverse student body. In support of those goals, we have launched programs focused on expanding access and opportunity to a broader base of qualified and talented students from diverse backgrounds, including the CMU Rales Fellows Program, the Tartan Scholars, and several programs that provide access to STEM fields. Additionally, having grown the resources dedicated to supporting undergraduate financial aid by 61% since 2016, Carnegie Mellon is living up to its commitment to meet the demonstrated financial needs of all admitted undergraduates, ensuring that every deserving student we admit can come to, and thrive at, CMU regardless of their background or resources. These and numerous other actions support our mission to attract and educate the best and brightest students, and to ensure a CMU education is accessible and affordable.
To the CMU community: We understand that this decision will be met with varying reactions and may impact individuals in different ways. Please know that we continue to embrace and support all members of our community in bringing a wide range of ideas and backgrounds to enrich our campus and enhance our societal impact. As always, there are many on-campus resources available to our community, especially our students, such as the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, academic diversity officers, CaPS, Student Affairs, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, which can be helpful during these moments.
On behalf of the leadership of Carnegie Mellon, I assure you that we remain steadfast in our long-standing commitment to improving access and opportunity for all.
Henry L. Hillman President’s Chair