SFFA v. Harvard and UNC-Chapel Hill Diversity in Admissions In the U.S. Supreme Court Section 1 Content Supreme Court Strikes Down Race in Admissions Policies The U.S. Supreme Court Thursday tossed aside more than four decades of precedent that has allowed colleges and universities to pursue the critical interest of a diverse student body through the consideration of race and ethnicity as part of a holistic admissions process.As ACE President Ted Mitchell said in a statement about the decision handed down in the high-profile cases brought by Students for Fair Admissions against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill: “By denying colleges and universities an essential tool for inviting students with diverse perspectives and experiences to their campuses, this ruling will harm the educational experience of all students.” Read the rulingStatement from ACE President Ted Mitchell ******** ACE Leads Nearly 40 Associations Urging the Supreme Court to Reaffirm the Legality and Value of Race-Conscious Admissions The Supreme Court should be cognizant of the rights the First Amendment grants to applicants to colleges and universities, and the freedoms it accords to those institutions. And the justices should honor decades of precedent and recognize the continuing value of colleges and universities using limited consideration of race and ethnicity as part of an individualized, holistic admissions review.By doing so, the justices would properly reject calls for a so-called “race-neutral" regime made in lawsuits filed by the activist group Students for Fair Admissions challenging the admissions processes of Harvard University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, states an amicus brief submitted Aug. 1 to the High Court by ACE and 39 other higher education associations. read the amicus brief statement from ACE President Ted Mitchell Section 1 Content Left Section 1 Content Right Background Section 2 Content Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard is a federal lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts challenging Harvard University's “holistic” admissions process and its consideration of race and ethnicity when reviewing applications for undergraduate admission. Following lengthy discovery and pre-trial motions, a non-jury trial commenced before Judge Allison Burroughs in October 2018. Judge Burroughs ruled in favor of Harvard on Sept. 30, 2019. The trial court decision was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. SFFA petitioned the Supreme Court to review both the First Circuit's decision in the Harvard case and a similar decision from the Middle District of North Carolina, Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina, which had been decided in the school's favor in October 2021. The Supreme Court certified both petitions on Jan. 24, 2022, and consolidated them under Harvard. After Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson testified during her confirmation hearing that she would recuse herself from the case because she is on the Harvard Board of Overseers, the Supreme Court separated the two cases, in order to allow her to participate in the UNC case. It is expected both will be heard in the 2022–23 term. Although the cases only concern Harvard and UNC, they have been closely watched, because these policies and practices may have features similar to those of other institutions with competitive admissions. Furthermore, United States Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, writing the principal opinion in the 1978 landmark case Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, cited the “Harvard College program” as an exemplar of permissible race-conscious admissions. “This kind of program treats each applicant as an individual in the admissions process,” Powell wrote. “The applicant who loses out on the last available seat to another candidate receiving a ‘plus’ on the basis of ethnic background will not have been foreclosed from all consideration for that seat simply because he was not the right color or had the wrong surname.” Edward Blum, SFFA’s president, is the architect and driving force behind this lawsuit and other cases challenging race-conscious admissions practices at colleges and universities, including the unsuccessful attempt in Fisher v. University of Texas to eliminate the use of race as one of many factors in admissions. Section 2 Content Left Section 2 Content Right Section 3 Content Section 3 Content Left Section 3 Content Right ACE Resources Section 4 Content Section 4 Content Left Section 4 Content Right Issue Brief July 6, 2023 A panel of higher education experts shares their insights on the challenges and implications that individual colleges and universities will face in the coming months after the Supreme Court ruling on race in admissions. Download Issue Brief July 6, 2023 Issue Brief: The SFFA v. Harvard and UNC Race in Admissions Cases Audio April 19, 2023 Transcript to the ACE2023 session on preparing for the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decisions on the use of race in college admissions. Read More Audio April 19, 2023 Transcript: Contingency Planning and Prep for a Post–Supreme Court Decision Landscape Podcast October 27, 2022 Pace University President Marvin Krislov and ACE General Counsel Peter McDonough join host Jon Fansmith for a preview of the Oct. 31 Supreme Court oral arguments on race in college admissions. Read More Podcast October 27, 2022 What to Watch For in the Oct. 31 Supreme Court Hearing on Race in College Admissions News The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston ruled on Nov. 12, 2020, that Harvard does not discriminate against Asian-American applicants, reaffirming the importance of race-conscious admissions in helping construct diverse campuses. Read More News Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard in the Lower Courts Issue Brief October 11, 2019 ACE Vice President and General Counsel Peter G. McDonough talks with four experts on diversity in admissions policy about the recent district court decision in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard. Download Issue Brief October 11, 2019 The Harvard Admissions Case: Reactions to the Judge's Ruling Issue Brief October 28, 2020 This guide provides practical information about core concepts that undergird enrollment policies associated with student diversity goals that can enhance communications and engagement strategies with faculty, staff, and students. Download Issue Brief October 28, 2020 Engaging Campus Stakeholders on Enrollment Issues Associated with Student Diversity: A Communications Primer Press Release February 14, 2019 A seminal ACE report shows that while the number of students of color on U.S. campuses continues to rise, gaps in access, attainment, and debt levels remain. Read More Press Release February 14, 2019 ACE Unveils New Resource on the Status of Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education Press Release March 10, 2016 Campus racial climate has become a larger priority for college and university presidents and their institutions, finds a new national online survey by ACE's Center for Policy Research and Strategy (CPRS). Read More Press Release March 10, 2016 ACE Survey Finds Increased Focus Among College Presidents on Campus Racial Climate Publication July 21, 2015 This report examines how legal challenges to race-conscious admissions are influencing contemporary admissions practices at selective colleges and universities around the country. Download Publication July 21, 2015 Race, Class, and College Access: Achieving Diversity in a Shifting Legal Landscape Section 5 Content Section 5 Content Left Section 5 Content Right Section 6 Content Section 6 Content Left Section 6 Content Right Button ContentPost-SFFA v. Harvard & UNC Decision Resources: Admissions and BeyondTo assist higher education institutions as they consider their own policies, practices, and initiatives explore Rail Content 1 Resources from Harvard Resources from UNC-Chapel Hill Rail Content 2In the NewsBiden Wants to Help Keep Colleges Diverse. Can He?The Washington Post (sub. req.) | June 30, 2023What the Supreme Court Rejection of Affirmative Action MeansInside Higher Ed | June 29, 2023Supreme Court Strikes Down Race-Conscious AdmissionsDiverse: Issues In Higher Education | June 29, 2023US Campuses Vow Push on Racial Equity After Supreme Court RulingTimes Higher Education (sub. req.) | June 29, 2023Supreme Court Rules Against Race-Conscious Admissions at Harvard and UNC-Chapel HillHigher Ed Dive | June 29, 2023The Supreme Court’s Decision Reveals a Gulf Between Two Views of Race and MeritThe Chronicle of Higher Education (sub. req.) | June 29, 2023With Supreme Court Decision, College Admissions Could Become More SubjectiveThe New York Times (sub. req.) | June 29, 2023Supreme Court Rejects Race-Based Affirmative Action in College AdmissionsThe Washington Post (sub. req.) | June 29, 2023 Using Race in College Admissions Protected by First Amendment, Groups SayThe Washington Post (sub. req.) | Aug. 1, 2022 Making the Case for Affirmative ActionInside Higher Ed | Aug. 2, 2022Supreme Court Effectively Delays Challenge to Harvard Affirmative Action Policies for Several MonthsCNN | June 14, 2021Students for Fair Admissions Petitions SCOTUS to Take Up Suit Against Harvard’s Race-Conscious AdmissionsHarvard Crimson | Feb. 25, 2021 Harvard Victory Pushes Admissions Case Toward a More Conservative Supreme Court The New York Times (sub. req.) | Nov. 12, 2020 Appeals Court Backs Harvard on Affirmative ActionInside Higher Ed | Nov. 16, 2020 Appeals Court Upholds Ruling that Harvard Admissions Process does not Discriminate Against Asian AmericansThe Washington Post (sub. req.) | Nov. 12, 2020 Harvard Won This Round, but Affirmative Action Is WeakThe Atlantic | Oct. 2, 2019 ‘Everything Is Not Sunshine’: What the Harvard Decision Means for Race-Conscious AdmissionsThe Chronicle of Higher Education (sub. req.) | Oct. 1, 2019 Rail Content 3 Page Content Related Press Release November 16, 2023 ACE and IIE announced a new partnership to co-design programmatic offerings that will address escalating challenges in higher education internationalization and serve the evolving internationalization needs of diverse higher education institutions. 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Read More Podcast July 7, 2023 dotEDU Live: The Supreme Court’s Ruling on Race and Admissions News June 30, 2023 The U.S. Supreme Court Thursday tossed aside more than four decades of precedent that has allowed colleges and universities to pursue the critical interest of a diverse student body through the consideration of race and ethnicity in admissions. Read More News June 30, 2023 Supreme Court Strikes Down Race in Admissions Policies News The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston ruled on Nov. 12, 2020, that Harvard does not discriminate against Asian-American applicants, reaffirming the importance of race-conscious admissions in helping construct diverse campuses. Read More News Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard in the Lower Courts Statement June 29, 2023 In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court has tossed aside more than four decades of precedent that has allowed colleges and universities to pursue the critical interest of a diverse student body. Read More Statement June 29, 2023 Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on the Supreme Court's Race in Admissions Ruling Blog Post June 26, 2023 Ashley L. Gray writes that it’s time to reimagine the current pipeline to the presidency and eliminate the pitfalls historically marginalized people face. Read More Blog Post June 26, 2023 Renaissance: The Role of Succession Planning in Diversifying the American College Presidency Video June 15, 2023 Hear reflections on Emotional Labor in Shared Equity Leadership Environments: Creating Emotionally Supportive Spaces. Learn about emotional labor when diversity, equity, and inclusion leadership is broadly distributed. 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