Eight of the nation’s higher education associations, the American Association for Affirmative Action, the American Council on Education, the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, the Association of American Medical Colleges, College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, have joined together to release the following statement.
In 2003, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote for the majority in the Supreme Court’s 5-4 Grutter v. Bollinger decision. The court ruled that student diversity is a compelling interest and that the University of Michigan Law School was properly considering race as one of the factors in a holistic review of applications for admission. The court noted that a student body diverse in race and ethnicity brings a myriad of experiences that benefit the entire group. Such exposure broadens the vision and understanding of classmates and adds value to the learning experience. This benefit flowing from a diverse experience extends to higher education, to the nation’s workforce, to the military, and to the national economy in the global environment.
Institutional climate and responsiveness to diversity closely correlate with academic excellence and equity. Through institutional diversity students can benefit from the intellectual, cultural, civic, religious and personal experiences of a range of students, reflecting the richness of this heterogeneous, pluralistic society. They can learn the tolerance, coexistence and ecumenical spirit of shared values and common destinies that make America strong.
Educational autonomy is grounded in the First Amendment and it includes the freedom of a university to make its own judgments as to the selection of its student body. The Grutter decision confirmed this. The University of Texas should be accorded such deference in this case.
Our discussion on these positions in more detail will occur via telephone on Tuesday, October 9th at 10:00 a.m., ET. We welcome the press to call in at 866-866-2244; participant code: 6169371#
WHO: American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA), American Council on Education (ACE), American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR), the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE), and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO).
WHAT: Media Conference Call on the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin case before the U.S. Supreme Court
WHEN: 10:00 a.m., ET, Tuesday, October 9, 2012
WHERE: Office of the American Association for Affirmative Action, 888 16th Street, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC
CALL IN NUMBER: 1-866-866-2244; Participant Code: 6169371#
Founded in 1918, the American Council on Education (ACE) is the major coordinating body for all the nation’s higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy. For more information, please visit www.acenet.edu or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.
Founded in 1974, the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA) is a national not-for-profit association of professionals working in the areas of affirmative action, equal opportunity, and diversity. AAAA assists its members to be more successful and productive in their careers. It also promotes understanding and advocacy of affirmative action to enhance access and equality in employment, economic and educational opportunities. For more information, go to www. affirmativeaction.org.
Founded in 1876 and based in Washington, D.C., the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) is a not-for-profit association representing all 138 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and nearly 90 academic and scientific societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC represents 128,000 faculty members, 75,000 medical students, and 110,000 resident physicians. Additional information about the AAMC and U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at www.aamc.org/newsroom.
Founded in 1946, the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) serves as the voice of human resources in higher education, representing more than 15,000 human resources professionals at over 1,800 colleges and universities across the country. Its membership includes 92 percent of all United States doctoral institutions, 75 percent of all master’s institutions, 60 percent of all bachelor’s institutions, and nearly 600 two-year and specialized institutions. For more information, go to www.cupahr.org.
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) fulfills its mission by promoting the development of member colleges and universities, improving access to and the quality of post-secondary educational opportunities for Hispanic students, and meeting the needs of business, industry and government through the development and sharing of resources, information and expertise. For more information, go to www.hacu.net.
Founded in 2006, the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) is leading higher education towards inclusive excellence through institutional transformation. NADOHE serves as the preeminent voice for diversity officers in higher education by supporting collective efforts towards attainment of the production and dissemination of empirical evidence through research to inform diversity initiatives, the identification and circulation of exemplary practices, by providing professional development for current and aspiring diversity officers, informing and influencing national and local policies, and creating and fostering networking opportunities. NADOHE has 175 institutional members and 125 individual members. For more information, go to www.nadohe.org.
The National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) is the not-for-profit umbrella organization of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs). Founded in 1969, NAFEO is the only membership association of its kind, representing the presidents and chancellors of the diverse black colleges and universities: public, private and land-grant, two-year, four-year, graduate and professional, historically and predominantly black colleges and universities. NAFEO was founded to provide an international voice for the nation’s HBCUs; to place and maintain the issue of equal opportunity in higher education on the national agenda; to advocate policies, programs and practices designed to preserve and enhance HBCUs; and to increase the active participation of blacks at every level in the formulation and implementation of policies and programs in American higher education. For more information, go to www.nafeo.org.
The American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) was founded in 1972 by the presidents of the nation’s first six tribal colleges as an informal collaboration among member colleges. Through AIHEC, tribal colleges nurtured a common vision and learned to see themselves as a national movement. Their work—research, advocacy and lobbying—was done through volunteerism and came almost exclusively from the presidents, community members, and other tribal and local leaders. Today, AIHEC has grown to represent 37 colleges in the United States and one Canadian institution and is the lifeline of these tribal colleges. For more information, go to www.aihec.org.