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President Barbara R. Snyder Says Supreme Court Should Uphold Universities’ Ability to Encourage Diversity in Their Student Bodies

The following is a statement from Association of American Universities President Barbara R. Snyder about the Supreme Court’s decision to hear cases involving the ability of universities to consider an applicant’s ethnic background among other characteristics and factors in admissions decisions:

A university education in which one’s fellow students all come from similar backgrounds is woefully incomplete and fundamentally flawed. This is why America’s leading research universities have, for decades, publicly supported the Supreme Court’s own precedent allowing institutions of higher education to promote diversity in their student bodies. In agreeing to hear appeals of unanimous lower-court decisions – including one at the appellate level in favor of Harvard University in which AAU joined a friend-of-the-court brief – the Supreme Court calls into question more than 40 years of its own precedent and the responsibility of all colleges and universities in the United States to advance equity while providing the most intellectually stimulating environment possible for their own students. We are reviewing these cases and will be proud to weigh in with the court in favor of universities’ ability to prepare their own students for life in an ever-more-diverse world.

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Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities is composed of America’s leading research universities. AAU’s 66 research universities transform lives through education, research, and innovation.

Our member universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for research that improves public health, seeks to address national challenges, and contributes significantly to our economic strength, while educating and training tomorrow’s visionary leaders and innovators.

AAU member universities collectively help shape policy for higher education, science, and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of leading research universities to American society.

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