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Ivy League, Other Peer Schools Pledge to Uphold Diversity While Complying With Supreme Court Ruling

Harvard's peer institutions spoke out following the Supreme Court decision effectively striking down affirmative action in higher education Thursday.
Harvard's peer institutions spoke out following the Supreme Court decision effectively striking down affirmative action in higher education Thursday. By Julian J. Giordano
By Rahem D. Hamid, Crimson Staff Writer

In a show of solidarity, Harvard’s peer institutions rallied to the defense of race-conscious admissions within hours of the Supreme Court decision declaring Harvard’s and the University of North Carolina’s admissions programs unconstitutional.

Top administrators at seven other Ivy League universities, as well as MIT and Stanford University, released statements reiterating their commitments to diversity while stressing they will comply with the Court’s decision.

Many schools also revealed that they had been bracing for a ruling against Harvard, meeting with legal counsel and communicating with top administrators extensively ahead of Thursday’s decision.

Last summer, all nine universities had previously joined other top schools, major corporations, and the Biden administration in filing amicus briefs supporting Harvard and UNC.

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard and UNC were unconstitutional as they violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

In response, Harvard’s top brass wrote in a joint statement that the University “will determine how to preserve, consistent with the Court’s new precedent, our essential values.”

In a public video statement also released Thursday, Claudine Gay — who officially assumed her role as University president on Saturday — said the school will “be working to understand the decision and its implications for our policies.”

“To our current students, you make excellence possible, and you belong at Harvard. Never doubt that,” Gay said. “To our future students, know that we want you here. We are eager to welcome you to our community.”

In a written statement, Yale University President Peter Salovey criticized the Court’s decision, which he wrote has “done the nation a disservice.”

Yale deans will convene to review admissions policies, Salovey wrote, and will “communicate as needed to their prospective and current students.”

Christopher L. Eisgruber, the president of Princeton University, wrote in an email to Princeton affiliates that the Court’s decision “is unwelcome and disappointing, but it is not unexpected” — a sentiment echoed by many Harvard faculty.

“Princeton has been preparing for this possibility with assistance and advice from legal counsel,” Eisgruber added.

Some universities also shared more specific next steps as they grapple with the severe restrictions to race-conscious admissions.

Christina H. Paxson, president of Brown University, wrote that the school “will provide resources and guidance to all academic and administrative units at Brown that have an admission application or entry criteria for their programs or activities.”

“Over the summer, we will conduct a close review of the SCOTUS decision to determine which of the various strategies for recruiting, admitting and yielding a talented, diverse student body we can follow,” Paxson wrote.

Marc T. Tessier-Lavigne, Stanford’s embattled president, wrote in a statement that the California school will immediately focus on “an expansion of our existing outreach efforts to potential applicants.”

In a video message, MIT President Sally A. Kornbluth said that while “we all expected” the ruling, she wanted to “express her profound frustration with these decisions.”

“MIT has never been more excellent, and it has never been more diverse — and I see these factors as inextricably intertwined,” she said. “And I am dismayed by anything that threatens that.”

—Staff writer Rahem D. Hamid can be reached at

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