Connecticut College stands firm in commitment to diversity following SCOTUS ruling on affirmative action
In the wake of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling rejecting the admissions approaches taken by Harvard University and the University of North Carolina (UNC) regarding affirmative action, Connecticut College reaffirms its commitment to diversity, social justice and academic excellence.
Interim President Les Wong emphasized the College’s commitment to its core values, stating, “Nothing will deter Connecticut College from our moral commitment to social justice, accessibility and excellence. Our commitment remains strong because we know these values are important. We know that a commitment to social justice guides our moral compass. And we encourage our students, faculty and staff and our entire Conn community to engage and respect differences. We will continue to pursue these goals as we adjust to the Supreme Court’s unfortunate decision about race-conscious admissions. But we will not be turned away from the most fundamental notion of an education, from the most fundamental value of America.”
The diversity of Conn’s student body enriches the educational experience and campus life. The College, alongside 33 fellow liberal arts institutions, submitted an amicus curiae brief in support of Harvard and UNC prior to the Supreme Court's oral arguments. Debo Adegbile ’91, chair of the Connecticut College Board of Trustees and a partner at the international law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr, played an instrumental role in representing Harvard throughout the case.
Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Andy Strickler thinks the ruling gives schools some flexibility. The Supreme Court said students can still address race in their admissions essays, including by expressing how it has impacted their lives.
“There’s a lot of gray area that exists in the actual language of the decision,” he said. “Many people oversimplify the college admission process and think that race is the factor. It’s a factor—one of probably 50, 60, 70, 80 different elements of each student’s application.”
Dean of the College Erika Smith added, “We will continue to read those essays with interest, larger schools will develop relative opportunity indices, and together we will continue to look for other ways to bring the full spectrum of the best and the brightest through our institutions and into leadership roles in the future.”
Conn’s commitment to diversity is embedded in its strategic plan, Building on Strength. This comprehensive plan aims to foster academic excellence, promote equitable and sustainable communities, and create a more inclusive environment on campus and in the world beyond.
“Conn remains committed to diversity, inclusion and justice in our admissions and other policies,” said Nakia Hamlett, Conn’s interim dean of Institutional Equity and Inclusion. “As our communities continue to become more ethnically and culturally diverse, there is an essential value to learning in such a richly diverse and inclusive environment.”
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