PITTSFORD, N.Y. — Nazareth University released a letter on Thursday saying it will remain committed a creating a diverse campus. It comes after the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action, declaring race cannot be a factor in college admissions.
Here is the full letter from Nazareth University:
Today the United States Supreme Court issued an important ruling regarding affirmative action in higher education. Specifically, the court ruled that colleges and universities can no longer consider race as a specific, express factor in admissions.
The Supreme Court did not rule out race completely in admission programs, saying, “nothing prohibits universities from considering an applicant’s discussion of how race affected the applicant’s life, so long as that discussion is concretely tied to a quality of character or unique ability that the particular applicant can contribute to the university.”
Supreme Court decisions are complex, and legal experts spend years analyzing their impact. It’s certainly not possible for me or anyone at Nazareth University to assess — only hours after the ruling — how this decision will ultimately impact society or Nazareth. I can, however, share our initial institutional reaction, and provide context regarding what, if any, effect this ruling might have on Nazareth’s admissions processes.
First and foremost, it’s important to reiterate that Nazareth remains deeply committed to equity in every facet of our campus community. Nazareth recognizes that there have been, and continue to be, unacceptable gaps and failures in higher education attainment by race and ethnicity. This not only negatively impacts individuals, but also our community, and society. Equity is a core, guiding strategic value, and a commitment to equity is central to our mission. Regardless of today’s ruling, we’ll continue seeking to establish equity and access for all of our students, faculty, and staff.
Nazareth also understands that diverse campus communities help all students to thrive in college and beyond. Experience working and living side by side in a diverse community, and learning about historical and contemporary dynamics of diversity, prepares students for their future, and improves our nation and the world.
That said, while Nazareth makes diversity and equity a guiding priority, it’s important to clarify that Nazareth’s admissions process does not use race as a factor in admissions decisions.
Nazareth has long used a holistic admissions review process, understanding and appreciating each student’s authenticity and possibilities. Students are never reduced to a “check box” — for race or any other single identity characteristic. Therefore, this ruling will not interrupt our admissions process.
Diversity and equity have been guiding lights for Nazareth College, and now Nazareth University, since our founding. This ruling does not change this. In many ways, it actually enhances the importance of these elements of our mission, and amplifies the need for Nazareth to be steadfast in our commitments to building a diverse and informed campus community, and diverse and informed changemakers for our world.
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