Oregon universities respond to affirmative action ruling

OREGON – Oregon State University (OSU) is one of many universities nationwide to issue a response to the Supreme Court’s affirmative action ruling Thursday.

The cases Students for Fair Admission v. Harvard University, and Students for Fair Admission v. University of North Carolina argued that admission policies at the schools discriminated against white and Asian American students.

The high court’s conservative majority ruling 6-3 that it is unconstitutional to consider race as a determining factor in college admissions.

In Fall of 2022, 29.2% of students enrolled in OSU identified as people of color.

OSU says while race isn’t something it considers when making admission decisions, it’s still disappointing to see the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“Oregon State University is disappointed in this court ruling,” said Steve Clark, Vice President of University Relations and Marketing.  “It overturns if you will a collective approach that’s been utilized across the nation for decades.”

“While OSU does not consider an applicant’s race or ethnicity in making admission decisions, the university strongly affirms the importance of a diverse student body to advance the university’s teaching, research and engagement mission,” said OSU President Jayathi Y. Murthy in a statement on the university’s website. “OSU will continue to admit every qualified Oregon student who applies.”

Southern Oregon University (SOU) and the University of Oregon (UO) also released statements about how this court ruling is expected to impact admissions.

UO says the decision made by the Supreme Court will not change the school’s commitment t0 providing inclusive access to higher education.

“We are carefully reviewing the decision and will make any necessary changes to our processes to comply with the ruling while ensuring we continue to achieve our mission-driven goals of providing access, opportunity, equity, and inclusion for students,” the University of Oregon posted on its webpage.

SOU explained that race is not an admission criteria considered for its programs.  Initial assessments believe the ruling will not impact the diverse student population currently established and will allow SOU to maintain an inclusive student body.

SOU’s statement regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling states its “leadership team is actively discussing and evaluating the 237-page opinion issued by the court and how this ruling may affect the admissions and other policies and practices at SOU.”

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Taylar Ansures is a producer and reporter for NBC5 News. Taylar is from Redding, California and went to California State University, Chico. After graduating, she joined KRCR News Channel 7 in Redding as a morning producer. She moved to Southern Oregon in 2022 to be closer to family and became KTVL News 10’s digital producer. Taylar is currently finishing her Master's Degree in Professional Creative Writing through the University of Denver. In her free time, Taylar frequents independent bookstores and explores hiking trails across Southern Oregon and Northern California.
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