By Emory University President Gregory L. Fenves:
Nearly seven years ago, I found myself standing on the front steps of the U.S. Supreme Court addressing a group of reporters.
I was the new president of The University of Texas at Austin, and the university’s legal team was defending the use of race as one factor in a holistic admissions process. Six months later, the Supreme Court would rule in UT Austin’s favor in Fisher v. The University of Texas at Austin.
It was a historic moment, validating the educational benefits of diversity and upholding the precedents established by Regents of the University of California v. Bakke and Grutter v. Bollinger. At the time, I remember feeling pride and also relief. Now, as the president of Emory University, I am deeply concerned.
Later this month, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for two cases focused on the use of race as a narrowly defined aspect of college and university admissions. And the stakes — the future of diversity at American colleges and universities — couldn’t be higher.
Why is this important?
Without the ability to consider race, even in a limited way, many colleges and universities will struggle to recruit diverse classes. If we want graduates to be prepared to solve the greatest challenges of our day, colleges and universities must give them the chance to grow and learn through their studies and from both their professors and classmates. A diverse student population makes that possible.
Read the rest of the article in The Hill.