UC files amicus brief in affirmative action case

President Janet Napolitano and the 10 University of California chancellors today (Nov. 2) submitted a “friend of the court” brief to the United States Supreme Court in support of the University of Texas in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. The case again challenges the use of affirmative action in college admissions.

As the largest highly selective institution of higher education in the nation, located in the most diverse state in the nation, UC offers the court compelling evidence of the challenge institutions of higher education face when trying to promote diversity — among other critical educational objectives — when they are prohibited from using race-conscious measures in college admissions, the amicus curiae brief says.

The brief details how despite nearly two decades of effort and experimentation with race-neutral admissions at UC, the university’s enrollment of underrepresented minority students falls short of reflecting the rich diversity of California’s population.

“The University of California belongs to the people of California, and race-blind admissions have curbed our ability to fully engage the learning potential found among this state’s diverse population,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “We are committed to serving California’s educational needs. Ensuring campuses enable meaningful interactions among students of different backgrounds is key to this mission.”