Editor’s Note: Today, University of Virginia President Jim Ryan and Provost Ian Baucom delivered this statement to University students, faculty, staff and foundations.
To the University Community:
As you may know, the Supreme Court is going to hear oral argument on Monday, Oct. 31, in two connected cases challenging the consideration of race in college admissions. These are important cases, which could impact our University, and we are monitoring them closely.
The court’s ultimate decisions will not likely be released until spring of next year.
For those who are interested in learning more about these cases, as well as about how the arguments went, there are two events being hosted in the coming weeks.
On Nov. 10 at 5:15 p.m., the School of Law will host a moderated panel discussion entitled “The Affirmative Action Cases and Their Implications.” The event will be open to members of the University community. A recording will also be available following the event on the School of Law’s YouTube page. More information about this event is available on the School of Law's event website.
On Nov. 15 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., the Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will host an event entitled “Higher Education and the Shifting Legal Landscape of DEI,” featuring UVA alumnus Art Coleman, co-founder of Education Counsel LLC. More details are available on the Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion's event website.
Here at the University of Virginia, diversity and excellence go hand-in-hand. UVA’s mission statement reads, in part, that “[w]e are defined by … [o]ur unwavering support of a collaborative, diverse community bound together by distinctive foundational values of honor, integrity, trust, and respect.”
Recruiting a student body that is diverse along every imaginable dimension, including race, is critical to preparing our students for the world they will enter when they graduate. Students learn from each other as much as they learn from our world-class faculty, and that learning — and understanding — is heightened when students from all walks of life, from all demographic groups, and from all perspectives are brought together not simply to understand and appreciate their differences, but also to discover how much they have in common.
We write today on behalf of the University’s leadership and deans to say that, regardless of the court’s ruling, we will remain steadfast in our commitment to make diversity a core part of the educational experience at UVA, and will strive to do all we can, within the bounds of the law, to continue to admit and recruit a widely diverse student body.
James E. Ryan
Executive Vice President and Provost