To the Dartmouth community,
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court significantly limited how colleges and universities may consider race in their admissions policies and practices.
First, I want to be absolutely clear: This decision in no way changes Dartmouth’s fundamental commitment to building a diverse and welcoming community of faculty, students, and staff, as articulated in our institutional values. Diversity, including racial diversity, is vital to our mission of knowledge creation in service to society. Research (see here, here, here, and here) shows that diverse teams lead to better outcomes. While there will be differences of opinion and robust discussion about the ruling itself, we begin the conversation from this common, foundational understanding that a diversity of lived experiences and perspectives enriches discovery and the Dartmouth education—it makes Dartmouth stronger. As an institution with an imperfect history when it comes to embracing diversity, it is important that we not only state our values but that they inspire our actions.
I want to acknowledge the strong emotional response the Court’s decision is already provoking, across the nation and among our community. It is crucial that each of us listen to, show respect for, and support one another, especially when our opinions differ. Dartmouth brings a uniquely powerful combination of expertise across intellectual disciplines and experience in solving complex problems—and that, in turn, places upon us a special responsibility to collaborate productively to help lead our country and our world to a better future.
In anticipation of today’s ruling, Provost David Kotz ’86 has been meeting regularly with the admissions deans from across the institution, and other institutional partners, to discuss how to comply with the ruling and adapt their holistic admissions processes to this new legal landscape. In coming weeks and months, you will hear more about opportunities for all of us to learn, examine, and work together on the broader impact of these rulings in our community and beyond.
I am grateful to be part of a community that cares deeply about the challenges that face our society and responds with resolve, creativity, and a deep commitment to our shared values.
Sian Leah Beilock