The University of North Carolina System has issued directives to its 17 campuses, including two in Greensboro – the University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG) and North Carolina Agricultural and Technology State University (NCA&TSU) – on how to comply with the recent US Supreme Court decision on admissions.
The directive states that the Supreme Court decision in “Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College found that race-conscious admissions practices violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and therefore must end.”
The directive states, “Race can be neither a means nor an end in college admissions. This applies to admissions practices both written and unwritten, and there is no wiggle room – no institution may try to achieve indirectly what the Court prohibited directly.”
The directive recommends removing the “race box” from applications in the future, while noting that it exists on current applications. It states, “Asking applicants to indicate their race on their applications likely will force campuses to prove that their express knowledge of an applicant’s race did not factor into the decision to admit or deny the student. Proving a negative is always difficult, even more so when the question turns on reading the mind of an admissions officer who could know the race of the applicant.”
The directive notes that the Supreme Court decision recognizes that diversity of other types other than race can be constitutionally sound goals, but warns that these goals must be “race blind” and “cannot be proxies or pretexts to achieve racial targets prohibited” by the Supreme Court decision.
The directive also notes that the rationale in the Supreme Court decision “will be extended to other instances where university actors use race in allocating university resources.” It recommends that universities evaluate scholarships and aid programs that take race into consideration and states, “Programs that offer opportunities for students based on race to the exclusion of others, who are not of the same race, may also be implicated by the Court’s ruling.”
The overall theme of the directives is that universities should follow both the letter and the spirit of the Supreme Court decision.