Supreme Court decision on consideration of race in college admissions

Members of the Cornell Community,

Cornell University was founded in 1865 as a university where “any person can find instruction in any study.” We have been committed ever since to diversity and inclusion, a commitment that was reiterated and enshrined in the University’s core values adopted in 2019.

Cornell is disappointed by the Supreme Court of the United States’ decision today in which it found that both Harvard’s and the University of North Carolina’s admission processes violate the Fourteenth Amendment.

When universities are free to admit broadly diverse classes through an individualized and holistic application review process, they are intentionally creating a student body with the potential to create a spark of insight, to advance knowledge, and to challenge one another and thereby strengthen an argument or call an assumption into question. For generations, Cornell’s remarkable students have done just that by bringing different perspectives and backgrounds to their education both inside and outside of the classroom.

As always, Cornell will follow the law, but within its scope we will remain a welcoming community, with strong core values and an unwavering adherence to our historic founding principle: to be a university where “any person can find instruction in any study.”


Martha E. Pollack