June 29, 2023
Dear Members of Our Campus Community,
I am writing to share an important message from President Drake regarding today's decision by the Supreme Court regarding the use of race in college admissions. Despite the ruling, our commitment to the goals of equity and access remains.
I want to echo President Drake's sentiments that student diversity is a top priority for our campus and for the University of California. Our campus is committed to advancing our mission of diversity and excellence, and providing access and opportunity.
We will continue to work together to provide the broadest possible student access to an affordable, high-quality UC education, and to support a diverse learning, living, and working environment where all members of our campus community can thrive.
Henry T. Yang
University of California President Michael V. Drake, M.D., issued the following statement today (Thursday, June 29) on the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the use of race in college admissions:
We are disappointed in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to bar the use of race in college admissions, a valuable practice that has helped higher education institutions increase diversity and address historical wrongs over the past several decades.
Student diversity remains a top priority for the University of California — one that we will continue to pursue with every tool available to us. Attracting, supporting and retaining a diverse student body leads to better quality instruction and educational outcomes, significant community benefits and overall fairness.
Since the consideration of race in admissions was banned in California 27 years ago by Proposition 209, the University of California has adjusted its admissions practices to comply with the law while continuing to aggressively pursue avenues for increasing diverse student applications, admissions, enrollment, and retention. Through a comprehensive admissions review process, we have made important strides in this area — but more work remains to be done by us all.
Today’s court decision bars the use of an important tool for other higher education institutions. The consideration of race was not the conclusive solution to inequities in college admissions, but it was an important pathway to addressing systemic deficiencies. Without it, we must work much harder to identify and address the root causes of societal inequities that hinder diverse students in pursuing and achieving a higher education.
The University of California continues to work to create clearer pathways to college and to address inequality in admissions. We stand ready to share our expertise and lessons learned as we collaborate with our partners to achieve a higher education landscape that reflects the rich diversity of our nation.