Dean Boger, center, moderates a panel on Fisher vs. Texas at UNC Law on Constitution Day. From left, Center Managing Attorney Mark Dorosin, Senior Attorney Elizabeth Haddix, Dean Jack Boger, Center Deputy Director Charles Daye, and UNC Vice Provost of Admissions Steve Farmer
CCR staff attorneys Mark Dorosin and
Elizabeth Haddix, and UNC School of Law Dean Jack Boger,
the Office of University Counsel filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (“UNC”) in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.
The case, now pending
before the U.S. Supreme Court, challenges the limited consideration of race in
college admissions and seeks to overturn the Court’s well-established
precedents, most recently re-affirmed in 2003 in Grutter v. Bollinger
, that diversity in higher education is a
compelling governmental interest.
The amicus brief emphasizes that UNC’s
mission is to serve as a center for research, scholarship, and creativity, and
to develop the next generation of leaders for our increasingly diverse
state. To effectively fulfill this
mission, UNC utilizes a highly nuanced, holistic and individualized admissions
process that promotes a strong and diverse pool of undergraduates, and provides
the maximum educational opportunity for students of every background. The brief
notes that as part of its holistic review of applicants, UNC has found that
some careful and limited consideration of race is indispensable to fulfilling
its mission. Read the brief.
argues not only that the University’s nuanced admissions process is grounded in
its academic judgment and experience that racial diversity improves the
education of its students, but that this judgment is supported by empirical
research. The brief cites the recently
concluded landmark Educational Diversity Project, a 10-year
multi-disciplinary research study conducted by four professors, including Center for Civil Rights Deputy Director and UNC Law
Faculty member Charles E. Daye. The EDP
Study examines diversity’s impacts on individual students, on the campus
community as a whole and on graduates’ ability to succeed later in life in
diverse communities, and to contribute meaningfully to society. The study concludes that racial diversity
among students is a critical component to providing meaningful educational
outcomes that benefit students, institutions and society.
argues that its holistic admissions process, including its limited
consideration of race, is necessary to achieve its compelling interest in
providing meaningful educational benefits and outcomes for its students, its
campus and the state. A ruling that
would prohibit any consideration of race in college admissions would weaken the
overall educational environment, likely exclude strong candidates, and severely
undercut the University’s ability to create meaningful diversity on campus.
case is scheduled for oral argument on October 10.
Read the brief.
Educational Diversity Project Study will be published in the summer issue of “Rutgers Race & the Law Review” and is available online at Social Science Research Network.
Posted by Mark Dorosin on Tue. August 14, 2012 2:24 PM
Amicus Curiae, Education