Resolution: Resolution in Support of Affirmative Action

American society currently is at the threshold of a momentous decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue of affirmative action in higher education. The decision in the two cases from the University of Michigan, Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger, will determine whether institutions of higher learning can continue to consider race and ethnicity, among other factors in admission decisions. These cases will be heard by the Supreme Court on April 1, 2003, with a decision expected in June 2003.

Education provides a critical opportunity for full participation in our democratic society. Despite significant progress over the last 30 years, since the Supreme Court’s decision in Bakke v. Regents of the University of California, students of color remain under-represented at American colleges, universities, graduate programs, and professional schools.

As educators in a broad range of academic disciplines and from a diverse range of backgrounds, we recognize the importance of diversity in the classroom and throughout the educational environment. Our students learn not only from us, but also from each other in formal and informal interactions. Only an environment that is rich in racial, ethnic, and many other forms of diversity is capable of facilitating the highest educational accomplishment by our students and preparing them to work effectively in the global community.

Therefore, be it resolved, that as an institution that values diversity, equality, and access to higher education, the University of New Mexico Faculty Senate hereby supports continued consideration of race/ethnicity, as one important criterion, among others, in admission policies. We urge the U.S. Supreme Court to reaffirm this legal principle.