Statement from President Pitchford on Supreme Court Decision Ending Affirmative Action

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Dominican University of California President Nicola Pitchford on Thursday issued this message to campus related to Supreme Court ruling on race-conscious admissions:

While we knew that today’s US Supreme Court ruling effectively ending the practice of race-conscious admissions in higher education was almost inevitable, it is nevertheless painful. Extensive research shows the harm done to our shared goals of equity and inclusion, of equal access to education and social mobility and of culturally rich learning for all, when individual states have ended or banned admissions practices that actively seek to counterbalance the long history of systemic exclusion in the US. As you may know, California barred race-conscious admissions at public colleges and universities in 1996, and there has been a measurable negative impact on the fair access of Black students in particular.

This news does, however, make Dominican’s work all the more precious, and something we can rightly be proud of – even as we stay committed to doing more and better, to continually learning about how we can foster equity and justice. We do not use any deliberate consideration of race or ethnicity in our admissions decisions or our financial aid practices. Instead, we have instituted practices like test-optional admissions that are proven to lower disparate barriers to admission; our recruiters also attend admissions events around the state developed specifically for underrepresented students seeking a college education. The precious diversity of our student body and the strength of outcomes for all students, which are so central to who we are, are genuine and intentional products of our community, our mission, our lived commitments, and our work – the work of everyone at Dominican, from our students themselves to staff, faculty, and trustees. I am grateful to play a part in that work.

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