ARL and 36 other members of the Washington Higher Education Secretariat placed an advertisement (PDF) in yesterday’s New York Times declaring that diversity in higher education remains a national priority. Last week, the US Supreme Court issued a decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin et al., a closely watched case challenging the University of Texas’s consideration of race as part of its admissions policy. The Supreme Court held that the Fifth Circuit had not applied the correct level of scrutiny to the policy and sent the case back to the Fifth Circuit for review. In its decision the Supreme Court maintained the legal principle that the educational benefits of a diverse student body are a compelling governmental interest.
The 37 associations represented in the New York Times ad pledge to reinvigorate their work to ensure that all who enroll in higher education experience a rigorous, horizon-expanding, and intellectually challenging education. They remain dedicated to the mission of discovering and disseminating knowledge, including the knowledge gained through direct experiences with diverse colleagues—a resource for achieving a stronger democracy and nation.
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in the US and Canada. Its mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.