A message from Dean Douglas Elmendorf

To the HKS Community:
As you may know, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments this morning in two cases regarding the consideration of race in college admissions. Harvard University is the defendant in one case, which involves the admission of undergraduate students to Harvard College; the University of North Carolina is the defendant in the other case. The Supreme Court’s decisions in these cases—which are expected next spring—have the potential to overturn more than 40 years of legal precedent and to significantly reduce racial diversity in U.S. colleges and universities.
Harvard is emphatically defending its position that, as President Bacow said when the Supreme Court accepted the Harvard case: “Considering race as one factor among many in admissions decisions produces a more diverse student body which strengthens the learning environment for all.” That position undergirds HKS’s approach to admissions, and it has prevailed in the two lower-court decisions regarding Harvard College’s admissions process.
You can learn more about the Harvard case, Harvard’s commitment to diversity, Harvard’s approach to race-conscious admissions, and supportive amicus (“friend of the Court”) briefs for this case in multiple ways:
Harvard has created a website dedicated to the admissions case.
Harvard’s Office for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging has organized an opportunity for members of the Harvard community to Listen Together virtually to today’s hearing and to discuss the case immediately following the hearing.
Harvard’s homepage, Gazette, and social media channels are featuring stories related to the case and to the importance of diversity at Harvard.