An aerial photo of the Sachs Administrative Building at sunrise with the Chicago skyline in the upper right corner background.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Joint statement from Illinois Public Universities on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that restricts the consideration of race in higher education admissions decisions

University of Illinois President Timothy L. Killeen
Chicago State University President Zaldwaynaka Scott
Eastern Illinois University President Jay D. Gatrell
Governors State University President Cheryl F. Green
Illinois State University Interim President Aondover Tarhule
Northeastern Illinois University Interim President Katrina E. Bell-Jordan
Northern Illinois University President Lisa C. Freeman
Southern Illinois University President Daniel F. Mahony
Western Illinois University President Guiyou Huang 

On June 29, 2023, the Supreme Court of the United States issued rulings in two higher education cases restricting the consideration of race in college and university admissions decisions. As Illinois public universities, we recognize the Court’s rulings will introduce further uncertainty, particularly around higher education’s ability to equitably increase access to a postsecondary education for students of color. Moreover, the rulings have occurred at a time when data from the Illinois Board of Higher Education demonstrates significant college access and attainment gaps in Illinois between white students and Black and Latinx students.

Illinois’ public universities are united in our unwavering commitment to lawfully support and enhance student diversity in all dimensions. Together, and at each of our individual institutions, we will continue to support all students’ ability to secure a college degree in an environment that celebrates their lived experiences. Our commitment to providing meaningful access to a college education to all students, particularly students of color, is essential not only for the growth and health of our economy, but also for the quality of our educational environments. In order to graduate well-rounded citizens with strong critical thinking skills, we must expose students to varied perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences.

Our institutions will fully adhere to the requirements set forward by the Court’s decisions, following guidance that we anticipate will come from education agencies and education law scholars. While we are still determining whether adjustments in our current policies are required, we will center our work around our shared vision of a higher education ecosystem that equitably draws on the talents of all races and ethnicities in Illinois.  

Joint Statement PDF