Following the Supreme Court’s ruling yesterday declaring the use of race-based affirmative action in college admissions unconstitutional, two of Maine’s higher education institutions have entered the conversation.
In a statement issued by Bowdoin College, outgoing President Clayton Rose expressed that “it is clear and deeply disappointing that the court overturned more than forty years of precedent that has enhanced diversity in campus communities.”
Rose also argued that the Supreme Court’s “decision undermines the essential work to create an educational environment and experience that prepares students for the diverse worlds of work and of informed political and social engagement,” as well as “the long-term effort to recognize and respond to the structural obstacles for those in our society who have faced the most profound barriers to opportunity.”
Although the college was clear to state that it will “review the court’s opinion with great care and comply with its mandates,” Rose also reiterated that Bowdoin will “never back away from our commitment to build and sustain a truly diverse community where everyone has the opportunity for an equitable experience and an enduring sense of belonging.”
Bates College also commented on the ruling, sending an email to the college community shortly after the decision was released.
Similarly to Bowdoin, President Clayton Spencer and President-elect Gary Jenkins argued that the Supreme Court’s decision “turns back the clock on 45 years of established constitutional principle and significantly restricts the admissions practices used at many colleges and universities, including Bates.”
While being sure to remain clear that they “will comply with the law,” Bates reaffirmed that “the Court’s ruling does not change who we are and what we value.”
“We will take this opportunity to do what we do best: think creatively and experiment with new strategies consistent with the law that will allow us to continue to craft a class with diverse identities, life experiences, interests, and perspectives,” Spencer and Jenkins wrote in the statement.