President Higdon: Supreme Court should continue to allow race to be considered in college admission

Connecticut College President Leo I. Higdon Jr. today published an op-ed in the Hartford Courant urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold existing decisions that support the consideration of race as part of a holistic admission practice.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the issue within the next few weeks. The decision in the case, Fisher v. University of Texas, could ban colleges and universities from considering race. In his piece, Higdon argues that there are compelling reasons diversity is critical on college campuses and that previous courts were right to allow race to be considered as one factor among many in college admissions.

Higdon writes that Connecticut College seeks diversity in all forms in order to create a community that allows the College to achieve the goals outlined in its mission statement, “Connecticut College educates students to put the liberal arts into action in a global society.”

“To achieve our mission, we need to create a campus community in which students can have experiences with people of different backgrounds, as they will when they graduate and become productive members of society,” Higdon writes. “That means we seek students who represent diversity in its various forms, such as socio-economic background and geographic region, as well as a student’s culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation and, yes, race.”

In an email to campus, Carolyn Denard, dean of the college and senior diversity officer, stressed that regardless of the decision, Connecticut College will follow the law.

“We will work to understand the law and find ways to ensure that our campus remains a diverse community for all,” Denard said.

June 7, 2013