Statement in Response to the Supreme Court Decision on Race-Conscious Admissions

Penn Engineering strongly supports the statement from University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill and Provost John L. Jackson, Jr. in response to the Supreme Court’s announced decision in the two cases considering race in college admissions: Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina and Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard University.

“This decision will require changes in our admissions practices. But our values and beliefs will not change. Bringing together individuals who have wide-ranging experiences that inform their approach to their time at Penn is fundamental to excellent teaching, learning, and research. In full compliance with the Supreme Court’s decision, we will seek ways to admit individual students who will contribute to the kind of exceptional community that is essential to Penn’s educational mission.”

Schools like Penn Engineering have been working diligently to address the gaps in diversity and equity of opportunity in the engineering profession. We, along with all schools at Penn, will of course follow the law as set forth by the decision.

This decision only serves to reinforce our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in our School and in the broader community. We in Penn Engineering will redouble our outreach efforts at the K-12 level in order to expand the pipeline of future engineers, and create more talented applicant pools that truly reflect the diversity of the United States and the world.

As William A. Wulf, Past President of the National Academy of Engineering, noted: “As a consequence of a lack of diversity, we pay an opportunity cost, a cost in designs not thought of, in solutions not produced.” There is no question that engineers will only be able to solve the problems of a diverse world with a diverse, inclusive set of people working on them. We have to work actively to effect change, not only to overcome the grand challenges that face us, but also for the future of our disciplines.

Vijay Kumar
Nemirovsky Family Dean
Penn Engineering