SUNY College of Optometry on SCOTUS Decision on Race Conscious Admissions Cases

June 30, 2023

New York, NY: Today the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) issued rulings on two related cases addressing race-conscious admissions practices, Students for Fair Admissions (“SFFA”) v. President and Fellow of Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina (“UNC”). The decision found that both Harvard’s and UNC’s affirmative action admissions programs violate the Equal Protection Clause, which may effectively end most, if not all, affirmative action programs in college and university admissions processes.

With this ruling, it may be more challenging for colleges and universities to enroll similar numbers of underrepresented students and may ultimately impact the benefits that stem from diverse learning environments. The opinion does state that nothing will prohibit universities and colleges from considering an applicant’s discussion of their life experiences and how race affected the applicant’s life, so long as that discussion is concretely tied to a quality of character or unique ability that the particular applicant can contribute to the university.

SUNY College of Optometry affirms its commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging through building a student body and optometric workforce that represents the diverse backgrounds of our community. This is imperative in the delivery of and access to health care in today’s society.

We will work within new guidelines as they emerge, while continuing to advance the principles of diversity, belonging, and inclusion within our campus and across the optometric workforce.

Contact: Rob Rosiello; (212)938-5753

For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 29, 2023


Chancellor King and SUNY Board of Trustees on SCOTUS Decision on Race Conscious Admissions Cases

Contact: Holly Liapis;; (518) 320-1311

“Today, the US Supreme Court attempted to pull our nation backwards in the journey toward equity and civil rights with an egregious ruling that will have serious impacts on students and families seeking the American dream of opportunity through higher education.

“Race-conscious admissions policies have enriched our institutions and our nation. Yet despite the existence of race-conscious admissions policies, Black and Latino students, along with other groups, are still underrepresented across institutions of higher education as students, faculty members and administrators. Today’s decision threatens to undermine what progress has been made, by throwing up roadblocks and barriers when what’s needed are better paths and bridges. As Justice Sotomayor wrote in dissent: ‘The Court subverts the constitutional guarantee of equal protection by further entrenching racial inequality in education, the very foundation of our democratic government and pluralistic society.’

“At SUNY, our resolve to provide opportunity for all has never been stronger. The commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion will continue to be a factor in every goal we pursue, every program we create, every policy we promulgate, and every decision we make.

“On behalf of the students we serve; the faculty and staff who make SUNY a place of excellence; and the communities and employers that rely on SUNY’s diversity for their own success, we know that no court ruling – however misguided – can shake our understanding that our pursuit of diversity, equity, and inclusion, within the law, will always be integral to ensuring that SUNY is the best public system of higher education in the country.”

For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 29, 2023