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Higher Education Community: Diversity on College Campuses Remains Essential National Priority

July 01, 2013

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In the wake of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision concerning the consideration of race and ethnicity in college admissions, the higher education community stands committed to furthering the goals of equal opportunity and diversity on college campuses.

In an advertisement Sunday in The New York Times signed by ACE and 36 other higher education organizations, the groups pledge to “reinvigorate our work to ensure that all who enroll in higher education experience a rigorous, horizon-expanding, and intellectually challenging education.”

The higher education community statement praises the Supreme Court’s ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (UT) for leaving intact the longstanding legal principle that the educational benefits of a widely diverse student body are a compelling governmental interest.

“We strongly agree,” the statement says. “We remain dedicated to the mission of discovering and disseminating knowledge, including the knowledge gained through direct experiences with diverse colleagues—a resource for achieving a stronger democracy and nation.”

ACE submitted an amicus brief on behalf of 39 other higher education organizations in support of UT. Background about the Fisher case and other resources on this issue can be found here.

The higher education community statement notes that the Fisher case now returns to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit for review under the “strict scrutiny” standard, and it will be some time before there is a final decision.

“But a central issue for colleges and universities—the educational benefits of diversity—remains unchanged,” the statement says.

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