EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Utah schools and higher ed officials respond to affirmative action

Jun 29, 2023, 8:00 PM

The University of Utah said it considers the "whole student" when reviewing an application for admi...

FILE: (Ben B. Braun /Deseret News)

(Ben B. Braun /Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah said it considers the “whole student” when reviewing an application for admission, and that it “does not use race or ethnicity as a factor in its admissions process.”

The statement came hours after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the practice of affirmative action in college admissions at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina.

The rulings reflected the court’s ideological divide with the six conservative justices ruling in favor of Students for Fair Admissions. The group argued that each college’s approach to race when considering college admission was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

In a statement on Thursday, the University of Utah reaffirmed its “support for creating a campus community that serves the entire state.”

“Higher education is the pathway to lifelong success,” said Taylor Randall, University of Utah president. “Our priority still is to build an environment where our students, current and prospective, see the U as a place where they can pursue their passion and a path to opportunity.”

The University prepared a faq in 2023. It addresses questions in anticipation that Students for Fair Admissions would have a successful outcome in the court. In it, they address how the University’s admissions process supports a diverse student body.

Utah System of Higher Education

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Utah System of Higher Education said that the Supreme Court’s ruling against affirmative action would not impact admissions at Utah’s public colleges and universities.

“Unlike some other institutions across the country, Utah public colleges and universities do not consider an applicant’s race or ethnicity when making admissions decisions,” the USHE said. 

It, too, said it remained dedicated to a welcoming and inclusive environment across Utah’s system of higher education.

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Utah schools and higher ed officials respond to affirmative action