Diversity in Admissions U.S. Supreme Court Cases Section 1 Content Section 1 Content Left Section 1 Content Right SFFA v. Harvard and UNC-Chapel Hill Diversity in Admissions The Supreme Court has released its long-awaited decision in Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) v. Harvard and SFFA v. University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, striking down colleges’ use of race-conscious admissions nationwide. Read More Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin Resources on the legal challenges to race-conscious admissions, ACE’s amicus briefs in support of UT and more. Read More August 1, 2002 Amicus Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court: University of Michigan Admissions Cases Amicus brief to the Supreme Court in support of the University of Michigan in the 2003 cases Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger. Download The Issue Section 2 ContentAchieving equitable access to college for communities of color has been a critical goal for higher education since the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Higher Education Act in 1965. So too has been recognizing and protecting institutional autonomy and freedom to construct a diverse campus that generates educational benefits for its students and allows it to fulfill its educational mission.Diversity can mean different things to different campuses, from putting together a student body that has artists, dancers, tuba players, students from other countries, and athletes for its sports teams, to offering admission to students from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds and racial and ethnic backgrounds. It is that range of individuals that leads to the educational benefits that accrue to students from being in a setting where they are surrounded by people of differing backgrounds and perspectives and who are interested in different things.The Council has worked to promote diversity in higher education since its early days. In 1946, ACE included recommendations for removing barriers to higher education for racial, religious, and handicap minorities in its Presidential Commission on Higher Education for President Harry S. Truman. In 1962, ACE formed the Committee on Equality of Educational Opportunity in the wake of issues that were raised during the integration of the University of Mississippi. Two years later, ACE established the Office of Urban Affairs, which evolved into the Office of Minorities in Higher Education. The office issued reports and publications on access and diversity on campuses, continuing a priority area for research first established in the 1940s.Time and again, ACE has echoed the U.S. Supreme Court’s affirmations of the benefits of campus diversity summarized most recently in its second ruling on Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (Fisher II) in 2016: “the destruction of stereotypes, the promotion of cross-racial understanding, the preparation of a student body for an increasingly diverse workforce and society, and the cultivation of a set of leaders with legitimacy in the eyes of the citizenry.” ACE also is a strong proponent of colleges and universities having the ability to define for themselves, within broad limits, the diversity that will produce the educational benefits they seek for all their students, including the consideration of race in admissions. Contemporary admissions policies in support of this goal have faced numerous legal challenges. In five different decisions over the past four decades, the U.S. Supreme Court has held in favor of the holistic consideration of race and ethnicity in college admissions as one of many factors, affirming the argument and research that shows student body diversity bestows myriad educational benefits. ACE submitted amicus briefs in most of these cases, including the 2003 University of Michigan cases Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger, as well as the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin case, which was decided by the Supreme Court in 2013 and again when Fisher appealed and the Court again sided with the university in 2016 (known as Fisher II). In 2022, ACE and 39 higher education groups filed an amicus brief opposing the most current challenge to diversity in admissions policies, Students for Fair Admissions, Inc., v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc., v. University of North Carolina. Section 2 Content Left Section 2 Content Right ACE Amicus Briefs Section 3 Content Section 3 Content Left Section 3 Content Right August 1, 2022 Amicus Brief: Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard and v. University of North Carolina ACE, along with 39 other higher education associations, submitted this amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the universities' race-conscious admissions protocols that are being challenged. Download May 21, 2020 Amicus Brief to U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit: Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard Along with 40 other higher education associations, ACE submitted this amicus brief in support of Harvard in the challenge to the university's “holistic” admissions process. Download July 30, 2018 Amicus Brief: Students for Fair Admissions, Inc., v. Harvard ACE and 36 other higher education organizations submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. District Court in Boston in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc., v. Harvard. Download October 30, 2015 Amicus Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court: Fisher v. University of Texas (II) ACE and 37 other higher education associations filed this brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, as the court prepares to take a second look at UT’s diversity in admissions policy. Download August 13, 2012 Amicus Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court: Fisher v. University of Texas Amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Fisher v. University of Texas, which deals with the university's admissions policy. Download August 1, 2002 Amicus Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court: University of Michigan Admissions Cases Amicus brief to the Supreme Court in support of the University of Michigan in the 2003 cases Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger. Download Our Staff Section 4 Content Section 4 Content Left Section 4 Content Right Peter McDonough Vice President and General Counsel Office of the General Counsel Peter McDonough joined ACE in January 2015. He focuses on a wide range of higher education legal issues, including student and faculty affairs, athletics, campus safety and security, intellectual property, compliance and institutional governance. McD... Read More Peter McDonough Vice President and General Counsel Office of the General Counsel Section 5 Content Section 5 Content Left Section 5 Content Right Section 6 Content Section 6 Content Left Section 6 Content Right Button Content Rail Content 1Post-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 2Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education Download ACE's 2019 report and 2020 supplement and browse the data along with an extensive library of resources. Rail Content 3 Related Conference March 20, 20248:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. ET Join us in Washington, DC for the 2024 ACE Women’s Network Leadership Conference and Women’s Leadership Dinner as we come together to enhance momentum toward achieving gender and racial parity in higher education leadership. Read More Conference March 20, 20248:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. ET 2024 ACE Women’s Network Leadership Conference News December 18, 2023 ACE and USC’s Pullias Center for Higher Education have developed a suite of research and resources, concluding with a convening, aimed at helping leaders on campuses address diversity and equity challenges from the top down—making equity everyone’s work. Read More News December 18, 2023 Multi-year Project Helps Colleges Build a Culture of Shared Equity Leadership 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. Read More Press Release November 16, 2023 ACE, IIE Announce New Partnership to Co-Design and Scale International Education Programming Video November 8, 2023 What are the barriers encountered by women of the global majority who are seeking a higher ed presidency, and what are effective strategies to mitigate them? Join us on November 8 as our expert panel addresses these questions. Read More Video November 8, 2023 Women of the Global Majority and Their Pathways to the Presidency Podcast November 2, 2023 SJSU President Cynthia Teniente-Matson joins the podcast to talk about her first year at the California campus in the heart of Silicon Valley, particularly how to create equitable spaces at public institutions. Read More Podcast November 2, 2023 Equity and Inclusion in Silicon Valley and Beyond Video October 5, 2023 How do women campus leaders maintain a healthy work-life balance when they are required to have constant availability? ACE hosts a dialogue on women in higher ed leadership and their well-being. Read More Video October 5, 2023 Women in Leadership and Their Well-Being News August 11, 2023 The population of current presidents throughout U.S. higher education is still not representative of the students served. Read More News August 11, 2023 Higher Ed Stakeholders Begin Work to Address Equity and Parity in College Presidency News July 24, 2023 A new infographic and brief on gender disparities in the college presidency, particularly women of color, highlight the continued need to examine women’s educational and professional pathways and their experiences in efforts to diversify the presidency. Read More News July 24, 2023 New Resources Help Higher Ed Sector Diversify the Presidency Podcast July 13, 2023 Hosts Jon Fansmith and Sarah Spreitzer are once again joined by NASFAA president Justin Draeger to talk about financial aid in the wake of the Supreme Court's decisions striking down race-conscious admissions and student loan forgiveness. Read More Podcast July 13, 2023 Biden’s Loan Forgiveness Program Fails Supreme Court Test. What Now? News July 7, 2023 In the immediate aftermath of the Supreme Court’s race in admissions ruling, a panel of experts offers reflections in a new issue brief about the challenges and implications that colleges and universities and their students will face in the coming months. Read More News July 7, 2023 ACE Issue Brief Explores Implications of Supreme Court Race in Admissions Ruling Podcast July 7, 2023 Madelyn Wessel and Peter McDonough join Mushtaq Gunja to offer initial thoughts about the ruling and potential implications while considering what all of this means for the future of diversity, access, and opportunity on campus and beyond. 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. Read More Video June 15, 2023 Creating Emotionally Supportive Spaces Through Shared Equity Leadership News June 12, 2023 In a new brief, researchers explore how the impact of emotional labor on college and university leaders can be lessened when responsibility for DEI leadership is broadly distributed and shared across multiple campus stakeholders. Read More News June 12, 2023 New Report on Supporting the Emotions of Equity Leaders and Beyond News May 22, 2023 For students of color and other historically minoritized students, mentoring has been shown to be especially promising in encouraging their pursuit of graduate education, according to a new brief published by ACE. Read More News May 22, 2023 New ACE Brief, Search Tool Outline Effective Mentoring Programs and Practices for Graduate Education Podcast May 11, 2023 Recorded live at the American Council on Education’s recent annual meeting, this episode features Bill Pink and Leslie Gonzales in a conversation about how we can continue to diversify the presidency and why it’s essential. Read More Podcast May 11, 2023 Diversifying the College Presidency Is Essential News May 1, 2023 College Signing Day 2023 is underway, featuring events that began in late April and continue this month as high schools, higher education institutions and communities nationwide celebrate students committed to pursuing an education past high school. Read More News May 1, 2023 Celebrate College Signing Day 2023 Podcast April 26, 2023 Recorded live at ACE2023, this is the first of two episodes unpacking results from ACE’s new report, The American College President: 2023 Edition. Read More Podcast April 26, 2023 Where Are All the Women College Presidents?