Dear Carolina Community,
Next week, UNC-Chapel Hill will go to court to defend itself in a multi-year lawsuit challenging our ability to admit and educate a diverse community of outstanding students from varied backgrounds. The plaintiff, a private organization that has sued other leading universities, misrepresents the lawful way in which our admissions office admits talented first-year students.
The facts are clear: Carolina follows the law when we admit each class of outstanding undergraduate students. The University does not use quotas or formulas, and we do not discriminate against any applicant or group in the admissions process. We evaluate each student in a deliberate and compassionate way, appreciating individual strengths, talents and contributions to the incoming class and our educational environment. We consider a multitude of factors including a candidate’s academic performance, test scores, class rank, essays and experiences. We also may consider race or ethnicity – as one factor among many – but only if a student chooses to share that information.
As a faculty member over the past 25 years, I know that every student rightfully earned their place at Carolina. We welcome these students to a community that is committed to pursuing the educational benefits of diversity as a core part of our educational mission. As our faculty has recognized, a diverse student body is vital to fostering academic excellence, helping to broaden understanding among people of all backgrounds, spurring innovation and preparing engaged citizens and future leaders. Students, faculty and business executives who hire our graduates into a global economy tell us that the diversity of experiences among students with a broad range of backgrounds and beliefs is one of the most valuable parts of a Carolina education.
Our approach to admissions mirrors our community’s values, including a deep commitment to accessibility and affordability, that inspired pioneering programs such as the Carolina Covenant, the Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program (C-STEP) and the Carolina College Advising Corps. Those ideals are critical elements of the University’s strategic plan, Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good. The first of eight strategic initiatives, “Build our Community Together,” is focused on ensuring we have a welcoming and inclusive community at Carolina. As we said when the plan was launched, this initiative is foundational; none of the other initiatives will work if we do not get this one right. While we have made strides in diversity, inclusion and belonging in recent years, there is still much work to be done.
To learn more about Carolina’s position in this nationally significant lawsuit, please visit admissionslawsuit.unc.edu. Due to the pending litigation, we are limited in what we can say about the trial.
Carolina remains steadfast in its commitment to actively recruit academically qualified students from all 100 North Carolina counties and beyond to create a vibrant campus community where students from all backgrounds can excel and thrive. Our ability to admit a diverse class of highly qualified students is paramount to these efforts, and the positive momentum we have achieved over the past several decades is crucial to the future success of our students and our University.
Kevin M. Guskiewicz