On Thursday, June 29, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down decisions in Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina; two cases centered around the constitutionality of affirmative action in higher education admissions. The Court’s ruling effectively prohibits colleges and universities that accept federal funding from using race as a factor in admissions decisions. The current decision, deeming race- conscious practices in admissions unconstitutional, invalidates the Court’s precedent which, for decades upheld the consideration of race as one of many factors in a holistic approach to the admissions process. Until today, the Court permitted consideration of race as a tool to disrupt persistent patterns of discrimination and exclusion in higher education.
Albany Law School, in our recently adopted strategic plan, holds as one of its core goals that, “We will continue our Student-Centered Focus in everything we do, which includes holistically supporting the well-being and personal and professional development of our students and deepening our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout our entire community.” The decision of the Supreme Court in no way changes our commitment to cultivating a law school community which reflects the make-up of the society in which we live and advances an inclusive vision of the rule of law. We will continue our intentional work to diversify the legal profession through our efforts to attract, retain, and support students from diverse backgrounds. Together as a community, we will strive to create a welcoming and nurturing environment for all who study, teach and work at Albany Law School.
Alicia Ouellette, Outgoing President and Dean
Cinnamon Carlarne, Incoming President and Dean
Jermaine Cruz, Assistant Dean for Diversity & Inclusion