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ADVANCING RACIAL DIVERSITY: What Academic Departments Likely Can (Still) Do, Whatever the Supreme Court Decides

FAN Event Flyer
Tuesday, May 02, 2023
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

By June if not before, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on two cases that are expected to directly impact undergraduate and graduate admissions, as well as other student programs that seek to increase racial and ethnic diversity at Ivy+ universities and across the U.S. In these cases, the Court is being asked to overrule or further constrain longstanding decisions that, within legal design parameters, allow institutions of higher education to consider applicants' race in holistic admissions review to create diverse learning communities that benefit all students.

A range of outcomes is possible, and the specifics can't be predicted. However, the Court's decisions are expected to increase the challenges to achieving diversity aims of FAN members. Without denying the likely impacts, it will be extremely important not to over- or underreact to the decisions. For example, different legal regimes apply to race-conscious student and faculty diversity initiatives; and the decisions will only be binding in the student context. Even in the student context, avenues will remain to advance racial and ethnic diversity.

Jamie Lewis Keith will share her decades of experience in effective and legally sustainable strategies to advance diversity in higher education with FAN members. Keith will lead a "can do" workshop for Ivy+ faculty, department leaders and college administrators committed to advancing racial and other forms of diversity in their departments, disciplines and universities. Focusing on graduate education and faculty hiring, in particular, this program will answer:

- What are the distinctions between how race/ethnicity can be considered in admissions and other student programs versus faculty and postdoc hiring?

- In the face of strong legal and political headwinds, what tools will likely remain available and effective-whatever the Supreme Court decides-to advance racial diversity at the department and school/college level?

- How can faculty identify and remove the barriers to considering race in their policies and practices?

- What are the opportunities to inspire leadership and evolve thinking by faculty about priorities and definitions of "merit"?

This workshop will offer many opportunities for participants to engage Keith and to meet in small groups with faculty from similar university settings.

Contact: Maggie Elliott