Dear Members of the TC Community:
Today, the United States Supreme Court prohibited all practices regarding the consideration of a prospective student’s race in the college admission process.
While the ruling does permit a student to disclose and discuss their race and the impacts race may have had on their lives, it permits an institution to consider that discussion based on only individual characteristics such as courage and leadership — not on the basis of race. We feel this is an unrealistic and unfair result.
We, at Teachers College, are thoroughly dismayed at the Court’s decisions. The Court has deliberately rolled back decades of legal and societal progress as well as institutional best practices that aim at correcting systemic injustices while ensuring equity in the college admissions process. These longstanding practices have been invaluable towards the laudable goal of building racially and ethnically diverse student bodies as well as equitable access to higher education that reflect the world in which we live.
Teachers College is bound by law to conform to the Court’s decision — but, our College is equally bound by our mission and values of an equitable and just society. Indeed, from our founding, the College has been committed to providing educational opportunities to combat inequities faced by underserved populations — and our college admissions process plays a vital role in this mission.
In April 2023, Teachers College formed its Affirmative Action Working Group, which consists of faculty, staff, and students from across the College. This group will make careful and thoughtful recommendations on how the College should adapt its policies and practices to comply with the Court’s decision. At the same time, the group has strived to preserve the College’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion to the greatest extent possible.
Currently, the group is working with College faculty and leadership to ensure admissions and related practices conform to current law and reaffirm the College’s core values. Likewise, the group is working with College constituencies to develop governing principles and guidelines for the evaluation and selection of students for institutional aid. In all its efforts, the group is striving to ensure transparency and students’ equitable access to College resources.
We are committed to consistent and responsive communication with our College community and will update you soon with further developments. Teachers College is committed to upholding its mission and core values and continuing to strive to be a hub for social justice.
Thomas BaileyPresident, Teachers College
Published Thursday, Jun 29, 2023