Appeals Court upholds the University of Texas at Austin’s Use of Race and Ethnicity in Admission
On July 15, 2014, the Fifth Circuit issued its opinion in the Fisher litigation, on remand from the Supreme Court. The three-judge panel (in a 2–1 decision) upheld the University of Texas at Austin’s race-conscious admission policy. In a 69-page opinion (a marked difference from the comparably slim Supreme Court decision last summer), the majority found that UT at Austin had demonstrated that its consideration of race was a necessary component of its admission policy. The majority concluded, “We are persuaded that to deny UT Austin its limited use of race in its search for holistic diversity would hobble the richness of the educational experience in contradiction of the plain teachings of Bakke and Grutter.” Judge Garza dissented (he previously authored the “special concurrence” to the original Fifth Circuit opinion, in which he lamented the Grutter decision).
Schutte v. BAMN Case Analysis Available
On April 22, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision against the constitutional challenge to Michigan's voter ban on the otherwise lawful use of race, ethnicity, and gender by the state and its public entities in Schutte v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigration Rights and Fight for Equality by Any means Necessary (BAMN). This case focused on the underlying race-conscious admission decisions at Michigan’s public institutions of higher education. The College Board’s Access & Diversity Collaborative has created a case and analysis of the decision to assist higher education institutions with their interpretation of the decision.
Welcome New Sponsors
The Access and Diversity Collaborative would like to extend warm welcome to the Fiver Sisters Colleges: Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mt. Holyoke, Smith, and Wellesley who have joined the Collaborative as sponsors.
Join the Access & Diversity Collaborative: Policy Leadership and Institutional Support for the “Second Decade”
We are about to publish the new list of the Access & Diversity Collaborative 2.0 sponsoring institutions and organizations, and we would like to include you.
It is not too late to join, and we welcome your participation in the group that will help us set the agenda for the future work of the Collaborative. While the Court did not upset the applecart with respect to current law, it did send signals that the next case will be treated very differently in their eyes. Now is NOT the time to be complacent on the issue of the proper use of race and ethnicity in college admissions decisions. The Collaborative will continue to lead and guide programmatic and policy responses to these and other related issues of access and diversity. Join the group and lend your voice to the discussion.