Yesterday’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court declaring that race can no longer be a consideration in college and university admissions is a significant step backward for our country. While the opinions of the dissenting Justices were affirming in some respects, the U.S. Supreme Court’s final decision essentially ignores the progress and contributions of Affirmative Action in helping to cultivate diversity, equity, and inclusion on the campuses of higher education institutions across the nation.
For many institutions, Affirmative Action has long been a catalyst and critical resource for equity-driven admissions practices that help dismantle the historical, systemic, and structural inequalities that have often marginalized racially underrepresented college-bound students. Its fundamental purpose has been to create equitable pathways into higher education for African Americans, Hispanics, and other underrepresented groups who have historically been refused, left out, or struggled to gain access. The High Court’s decision to remove one’s race or ethnicity from consideration in admissions decisions is an assault on the very essence of the essential value of diversity, equity, and inclusion amongst students on college campuses. An intentional focus on welcoming students from diverse backgrounds also invites their culturally-informed experiences and perspectives, resulting in academic and social environments that promote deeper understanding, broader engagement, and higher learning. Thus, creating and encouraging a learning community encompassing an array of racial and ethnic backgrounds and identities is paramount for higher education institutions to achieve their missions and prepare students to lead and contribute to our world.
While the United States Supreme Court decision is an unfortunate development for our nation’s colleges and universities and their students, Martin University will remain a diligent purveyor and supporter of equity in higher education access and opportunity. As Indiana’s only Predominantly Black Institution of higher education, Martin University does not use race as a factor when reviewing applications or in the consideration of admission to the University. Our longstanding mission has been to educate, serve, and prepare students from all racial and ethnic backgrounds while ensuring that those historically underrepresented in higher education are well-represented, encouraged, and supported. We firmly stand by our mission and will continue to champion the cause of equity and inclusion in higher education for all.
As we continue to learn more about the impact of this decision, Martin University will remain laser-focused on helping to curate and advance an equitable future for all students in which everyone has an opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed.
Dr. Sean L. Huddleston
Martin University, President & CEO