President Skorton lauds Supreme Court decisions on diversity

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court announced decisions of great importance to the Cornell University community. We are pleased that the Supreme Court continues to recognize the importance of diversity in academic admissions, and the educational benefits that flow from diversity. Cornell's admissions program fully fits within the legal-policy framework the Supreme Court has deemed permissible in its prior decisions, Bakke v. University of California and Grutter v. University of Michigan, decisions the Supreme Court reaffirmed earlier this week in its 7-1 ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas.

Additionally, we are pleased with yesterday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Windsor, which will help align federal policy with fair and equal protection for LGBTQ individuals as advocated by this university and by an increasing majority of Americans. The court's decision further supports Cornell's long-standing policy on equal treatment for all members of our community. We note with pride that New York State did its part by passing same-sex marriage legislation in 2011. Now, we look forward to corresponding federal changes in policies and regulations that will permit us to make our benefits fully equal for all our married same-sex spouses. I am asking our administrative units to review all policies and procedures to bring our payroll and human resources practices into compliance as soon as new federal guidelines are issued.

David J. Skorton,