Message from the provost: update on new admissions standards
Dear Faculty and Staff:
I am writing to share updates about the progress the University has made following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June that eliminated the consideration of race in admissions decisions. As the Chancellor has said in previous communications, the University will follow the Court’s decision, which means race will not be a factor in admissions decisions.
As we take the steps necessary to follow the law, we also remain mindful of our values and priorities as a public university. I am confident we can continue to make Carolina a welcoming place for all students, faculty and staff while we pursue our commitment to provide an affordable and accessible education to the people of North Carolina and beyond.
The Court’s ruling substantively changed the law, requiring not just Carolina, but thousands of institutions, to revisit and revise their admissions policies and practices. I am grateful to all our schools for their tireless work over the past month to update our admissions procedures.
Following is a brief summary of key steps we have taken to date:
- Provided initial guidance to deans, vice provosts, senior associate deans and admissions officers across campus.
- Removed admissions reviewers’ access to racial demographic data that students may voluntarily disclose on application check boxes.
- Changed our undergraduate application materials, training and guidance to prepare staff to review applications and make admissions decisions based on achievements, character traits or other criteria that do not serve as a proxy for race.
- Convened numerous meetings with deans, admissions officers and senior associate deans to work through the implications of the Court’s decision on graduate and professional school admissions processes.
In the days and weeks ahead, we will continue our work with deans and other academic leaders as we evaluate and revise graduate and professional degree admissions. With assistance from The Graduate School, University Counsel and Undergraduate Admissions, we are fielding dozens of questions, and we ask for your patience as we address those complex matters.
For many years, I have witnessed the passion of our faculty and staff for whom higher education is not only a matter of the mind, but of the heart. Every day, I am inspired by your teaching and research as the soul of the University lives in your service to our students and our state. Thank you for all that you do to build our community together.
J. Christopher Clemens
Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Jaroslav Folda Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy