NAS Commends Supreme Court for Taking Fisher Case on Racial Preferences

PRINCETON, NJ (February 21, 2012)—Today the Supreme Court made a long-awaited decision to take the case Fisher v. Texas, which revisits the “diversity” rationale for racial preferences in college admissions. The National Association of Scholars, which signed a friend-of-the-court brief for the case, commended the Court for agreeing to hear it. 

“We are delighted that the Supreme Court will have a new look at the way our nation’s institutions of higher education treat race,” said NAS Chairman Stephen Balch. “The only way to usher in true racial equality in America is to end race-based discrimination. There are many race-neutral ways of promoting equal opportunity on our college campuses, and we urge the Court to choose these instead.” 

The New York Times October 2011 coverage of the lead-up to the case quoted NAS president Peter Wood: 

But Peter Wood, an anthropologist, the author of “Diversity: The Invention of a Concept” and a critic of the Grutter decision, argues that the educational value of racial diversity is problematic. “The part of diversity that matters to me and a lot of academics is the intellectual diversity of the classroom,” he said. “The pursuit of a genuine variety of opinions that are well thought through and well grounded is essential. But that has an off-and-on, hit-or-miss connection with ethnic and racial diversity.” 

NAS advocates for excellence in higher education by encouraging commitment to high intellectual standards, individual merit, institutional integrity, good governance, and sound public policy. To learn more about NAS, visit www.nas.org.  

CONTACT: Stephen Balch, Chairman, NAS: 609-683-7878; balch@nas.org 

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