Start with 1 to 2 paragraphs that explains UT’s history in the legal debate over race in admissions (both Hopwood and Fisher and current case in state court) and lays out our broad commitment to a narrowly tailored use of race as part of a holistic policy that provides UT with the education benefits of diversity. Language can be cribbed from statements we’ve already vetted.
UT Austin has been at the center of several major legal challenges to the use of race and ethnicity in college admissions: Hopwood v. Texas (1996), a federal case that temporarily halted the university’s limited use of race and ethnicity in admissions; Fisher v. University of Texas, which consisted of two cases (2013 & 2016) that went before the U.S. Supreme Court and resulted in a ruling that UT’s limited use of race in admissions was constitutional; and Students for Fair Admissions v. Univ. of Texas at Austin, a case currently in litigation in Texas state court.
The Supreme Court decision in the Fisher case affirmed UT’s efforts to develop a diverse student body that brings with it educational benefits for all students. The university believes diversity is essential to carry out its public mission and that the educational benefits of diversity for all students enhance UT Austin, the higher education community, and the nation.
Messages to Campus
President Fenves Statement – June 23, 2016
“This morning, the United States Supreme Court ruled in our favor in the case of Fisher v. The University of Texas at Austin, affirming the university’s right to continue using race and ethnicity as one factor in our holistic admissions process.
I am thrilled and gratified by today’s ruling that recognizes the constitutionality of the university’s admissions policy. The court has affirmed UT’s efforts to develop a diverse student body that brings with it educational benefits for all students. Our pursuit of excellence is grounded in the university’s public mission to provide the highest quality education for every student. Diversity is essential to carry out that mission. The educational benefits of diversity for all students enhance The University of Texas at Austin, the higher education community, and the nation.
As I said when the Supreme Court reviewed this case last December, race continues to matter in American life. It affects individuals and communities. We must make sure all of our students are able to excel in the wider world when they leave campus — educating them in an environment as diverse as the United States is one of the most effective ways to do so.”
Legal documents or Reports
Fisher v. UT Austin – UT Legal Affairs