UNC to Cease Factoring in Race, Including Essays, in Admissions Process

University of North Carolina (UNC) Eliminates Race as Admissions Factor, Including Essays, in Response to Supreme Court Decision

In the wake of a significant Supreme Court ruling that overturned affirmative action in college admissions, the University of North Carolina (UNC) has made the decision to no longer consider race in its admissions and employment processes, including application essays.

Recently, the UNC Board of Trustees endorsed a resolution that bars the university from taking into account “race, sex, color, or ethnicity” in its admissions and employment determinations. This change revises a prior resolution that had operated under affirmative action guidelines, which were invalidated by the Supreme Court’s groundbreaking decision in June, impacting Harvard and UNC’s race-conscious undergraduate admissions policies. The court ruled that such policies violated the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

According to the resolution, UNC is committed to refraining from any unlawful discrimination or preferential treatment based on a range of factors, including race, sex, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status, in its admissions, hiring, and contracting practices.

Furthermore, UNC will refrain from establishing any form of race-based preferences or promoting heuristics and proxies based on race in hiring or admissions, including through application essays or other methods. If the university chooses to take into account applicants’ personal experiences for admission, each individual will be evaluated based on their unique experiences, without consideration of race.

During the meeting where the vote was held, UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz affirmed the university’s commitment to adhering to all aspects of the law. He expressed confidence that they were diligently taking the necessary measures to ensure full compliance.

In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling, Harvard University indicated that it would continue to incorporate race in its admissions process. The university stated its intention to utilize applicants’ essays that detail the impact of race on their lives, as a way to align with the Court’s decision.

“The Court determined that Harvard College’s admissions system does not align with the principles of the equal protection clause as outlined in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act,” the university’s statement conveyed. “Furthermore, the Court ruled that colleges and universities may consider an applicant’s account of how race influenced their life experiences, encompassing instances of discrimination, inspiration, or other factors. We will certainly uphold compliance with the Court’s ruling.”

Despite these alterations to the university’s admissions procedures, Kenny Xu, the president of Color Us United, has continued to voice criticism over the employment of diversity, equity, and inclusion training within the medical school curriculum.

Recently, North Carolina Representative John Hardister addressed a letter to Christy Page, the executive dean of the UNC School of Medicine, inquiring about the integration of diversity, equity, and inclusion principles into their training programs. Just prior to the trustee gathering, Page responded to Hardister’s inquiry, underscoring the significance of comprehending racial distinctions as essential for delivering life-saving medical care.

In her communication, obtained by Fox News Digital, Page stated, “Equipping and educating our medical students to administer top-notch, empathetic medical services to the diverse North Carolinian populace is not merely a priority for our institution and its mission, but it is also an imperative aspect of our accreditation. The accreditation standards of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) necessitate a dedicated focus on comprehending the ramifications of healthcare disparities across all demographics and adopting instructional strategies that mitigate such imbalances.”

According to LCME’s provisions, each medical school is required to implement a diversity policy and engage in continuous, organized efforts to recruit and retain individuals that align with the institution’s mission-appropriate diversity objectives across students, faculty, and staff.

However, in correspondence addressed to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, LCME clarified that the language in question “does not impose specific criteria for diversity categories that a medical school must adopt to fulfill this requirement,” as reported by the Wall Street Journal. Furthermore, the standards do not prescribe “the establishment or delineation of any precise numerical benchmarks” that a medical school must attain. Rather, each medical program is granted the autonomy to define its own set of diversity initiatives to emphasize.

Kenny Xu, also a board member of Students for Fair Admissions, which initiated the lawsuit against Harvard and UNC, shared with Fox News Digital that the new policy at UNC contradicts the medical school’s emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“While she [Page] is asserting the value of considering a person’s background to enhance care quality, this response does not directly address the question posed by Hardister,” Xu commented. “Hardister was inquiring about the rationale behind incorporating race, gender, and sexual orientation in training, admissions, and advancement. Her response skirts the question while simultaneously defending the utilization of race-based considerations, which has become a central point of contention at UNC.”

Back in February, the University of North Carolina (UNC) made a significant policy alteration by prohibiting the use of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) statements and coerced expressions in their processes for admission, hiring, promotion, and tenure. This revision came after UNC’s medical school had previously mandated applicants to furnish a statement outlining their commitment to DEI.

Interestingly, UNC’s medical school took a decisive step by dissolving its DEI task force on June 1, without putting any of its recommendations into action. The task force had formulated a set of suggestions that were partially influenced by the DEI guidelines outlined by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). These AAMC protocols encompass subjects such as “Awareness of Implicit Bias,” “Effective Responses to Microaggressions,” and “Recognizing the Systemic Racism in the American Healthcare System.”