Statement by AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine on <em>Fisher v. University of Texas, Austin</em>

For Immediate Release
June 23, 2016

Tony Pals,
(202) 238-3235, (202) 288-9333 (cell)

Victoria Oms,
(202) 238-3233

Statement by AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine on
Fisher v. University of Texas, Austin

“The Supreme Court’s 4-3 decision today in Fisher v. University of Texas, Austin, upholding the institution’s admissions policy and affirming the consideration of race as a factor in higher education admissions, is a victory for students, colleges, and the country.

“The ruling aligns with the overwhelming body of scientific research on the use of race as a factor in university admissions and the educational benefits of diversity in higher education. Empirical research strongly shows that student body diversity leads to important educational benefits, which also carry over to the workplace once students graduate, and that race-neutral policies are, by themselves, insufficient for advancing diversity.

“The science presented in research amicus briefs in Fisher—including those filed by AERA and nine other scholarly societies, by more than 800 scholars in a brief organized by the UCLA Civil Rights Project, and by other researchers and research organizations—spoke to the limitations of race-neutral approaches alone.

“In the interest of our nation’s students and American society at large, we must pay special attention to what empirical research tells us about the benefits of diversity in higher education and the positive impact of admissions policies that take race into account.

“As higher education institutions move forward, rigorous social science research will continue to be critical to informing policies and developing practices that best foster student diversity and its educational benefits on college campuses.”

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Upcoming AERA Briefing: “After Fisher: What the Supreme Court’s Ruling Means for Students, Colleges, and the Country”

The American Educational Research Association will hold a National Press Club briefing Tuesday, June 28, on the implications of the Fisher decision for higher education and for the country. The event will feature a panel of civil rights and education research experts. For details and to register to attend or to watch the livestream, visit the AERA website.

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About AERA

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national interdisciplinary research association devoted to the scientific study of education and learning. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good. Find AERA on Facebook and Twitter.