Supreme Court decision will not affect RIT’s commitment to diversity initiatives

Today’s Supreme Court ruling, prohibiting the use of race as a factor in college admissions, has set aside decades of case law that allowed colleges and universities to consider race as one factor in the admissions process in order to achieve the educational benefits of diversity. The majority of the Court held that the admissions processes of Harvard and the University of North Carolina are not constitutionally permissible because they fail to treat applicants of all races equally. Race can still be considered but only as part of an applicant’s discussion of how race has impacted their lives. In her dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor stated, “Ignoring race will not equalize a society that is racially unequal.” She and the other dissenting justices recognized the “central role that education plays in breaking the cycle of inequality.”

This decision will not affect the way we admit students at RIT. While operating under the law, we will strive to continue diversifying our student body as outlined under the university’s strategic plan. We seek diversity in many forms within the admissions review process. We firmly believe that students living and learning within a diverse community enrich the educational experiences for all.   

Diversity and inclusion are fundamental aspects of RIT’s identity as an institution and are intrinsically tied to its historic strength as a forward-looking university. We remain committed to and invested in our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives, which are unlikely to be affected by any Court ruling. 

David Munson