UNC removes race as admissions criteria after Supreme Court overturns affirmative action

The Supreme Court found the affirmative action to be in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has removed race as part of its criteria for admissions in response to the Supreme Court's landmark ruling on affirmative action, which found the policy to be in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

UNC's Board of Trustees approved the resolution following a meeting on July 27, doing away with a policy that had been in place for years.

In a statement, UNC Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz said "our responsibility to comply with the law does not mean we will abandon our fundamental values as a university," adding the school would still, "under some circumstances," take race into consideration if it "illuminate[s] an individual's character and contributions."

Less than three weeks later, the resolution was passed, doing away with any possibility of considering race in any way.

"The University shall not unlawfully discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status in its admissions, hiring and contracting," the resolution stated.

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court's decision, in which UNC was one of the defendants, a number of colleges attempted to skirt the new rules by asking prospective students to include immutable characteristics in supplemental essays.

The new resolution dealt with that as well, stating that UNC "shall not 'establish through application essays or other means' any regime of or encourage heuristics and/or proxies premised upon race-based preferences in hiring or admissions." It stipulated that applicants "must be treated based on his or her experiences as an individual – not on the basis of race."

As the New York Post reports, UNC has come under fire in the past for its promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the application process. The UNC medical school, for example, required applicants to provide a written commitment to DEI. That rule, and all others that compelled speech, were struck down by the Board of Trustees in February.

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