UVA President Jim Ryan, Provost Ian Baucom Respond to US Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Opinion

June 29, 2023 By Jim Ryan, president@virginia.edu Jim Ryan, president@virginia.edu

Editor's Note: The Supreme Court today released an opinion on a case involving affirmative action and college admissions policies that will affect the University of Virginia. UVA President Jim Ryan and Provost Ian Baucom sent this statement to the University community.

Today, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion that limits the ways colleges and universities can promote racial diversity at their institutions through admissions practices. While the Court stated that institutions of higher education can consider “an applicant’s discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration, or otherwise,” the majority opinion holds that Harvard and the University of North Carolina’s race-related admissions policies are unconstitutional.

As we write, we are still evaluating the opinion to determine how it may affect our current admissions approach and what changes we may need to make as a result. We will of course continue to follow the law. We will also continue to do everything within our legal authority to recruit and admit a class of students who are diverse across every possible dimension and to make every student feel welcome and included here at UVA.  

Our commitment to diversity, in short, is not diminished, even if our ability to pursue that goal is constrained. Diversity, in all its forms, is critical to the educational experience, because students learn not just from their professors but from each other. Our goal is to prepare students to lead in a complex and dynamic world, and one of the ways we achieve that goal is to offer them as many opportunities as possible to exchange ideas and perspectives with people with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. 

Thank you for all you contribute to this community, and we look forward to being back in touch later this summer with information about our approach going forward.

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