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Those leaders argued persuasively that the strength of our military and the competitiveness of our business sector require employees who have experienced diversity on campuses and acquired the essential skills they need to operate in the world. Powell observed in the 1978 case Regents of the University of California v.Bakke, “People do not learn very much when surrounded by the likes of themselves.” Perhaps now, more than ever before in American history, we see problems that can arise when people retreat into echo chambers and do not encounter (and learn from) those with different backgrounds, life experiences and viewpoints. “Treating everyone the same” does not account for vitally important factors in the consideration of underrepresented minority college applicants.Here's what we learned in the course of working at the University of Michigan on the landmark 2003 Gratz v. Bollinger cases, later affirmed in the 2016 Fisher vs.
Applicants from certain minority groups often do not come to the admissions competition on equal footing.
Some minority students, though demonstrating great promise, have not had access to the level of academic preparation and economic opportunity that their majority counterparts have had.
University of Michigan political scientist and economist Scott E.
Page has demonstrated empirically the ways in which diverse teams are better at solving problems.
In fact, when we fail to account for the differential experiences and varied contributions of applicants, we create a college environment that limits opportunity and impoverishes the learning environment for students. Supreme Court has twice held that a public university has a compelling interest of the highest order in achieving diversity on campus.
The truth -- borne out by decades of research and campus experiences -- is that having a racially and ethnically diverse student body is a critical component of an excellent education that prepares students for the complex and diverse world they will face after graduation. The social science fully supports the court’s conclusion.
In 1921, Thomas Wyatt Turner became the first African American man to earn a Ph. at Cornell and in 1936, Flemmie Kittrell became the first African American woman to do so.
Association with Cornell, either as a student, faculty, or staff member, involves participation in a free community where all people are recognized and rewarded on the basis of individual performance rather than personal convictions, appearance, preferences (including sexual or affectional orientation), or happenstance of birth.
The truth, however, is far more complicated and complex.
While the language of “equal treatment” sounds fair, the effect of such supposedly “color-blind” practices in the college admissions context is the opposite of fair.