Kent State admissions will not be affected by Supreme Court ruling

Jacqueline DeMate

Kent State, unlike some universities across the country, will not be affected by a court ruling in favor of Abigail Fisher in the Supreme Court case Fisher v. University of Texas.

Fisher, the Caucasian student who sued the University of Texas after being denied admission in 2008, claimed that the university rejected her in favor of a minority student with a lower academic standing. Fisher sued the university and its officials, alleging that it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The case was sent back to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on June 24. Justice Anthony Kennedy delivered the opinion of the Supreme Court saying that the University of Texas must prove “that its admissions program is narrowly tailored to obtain the educational benefits of diversity.” A verdict will not be reached until the Court of Appeals thoroughly reviews the case.

If Fisher wins the case many colleges and universities will have to change their admissions policies based on affirmative action. Dave Garcia, associate vice president of Enrollment Services, said the decision would not affect admissions at Kent State.

“When students apply for admissions — if they meet the academic criteria — regardless of who they are and where they came from, they are guaranteed a spot here at Kent State,” Garcia said.

The universities that use affirmative action are highly selective and have limited spots for students, Garcia said. He added that while Kent State is selective, it is not discriminatory and therefore has no need for an admissions policy based on anything other than academics.

“Race is not used as a variable, it’s mainly the academic background they bring,” Garcia said. “And if they meet the criteria they’re admitted.”

Although Kent State does not have an affirmative action policy for enrollment, it does have a policy for hiring, said Loretta Shields, the director of Benefits and Compliance Division of Human Resources. Shields said that the university uses census data to determine if there is any underrepresented minorities at Kent State. If there is underrepresentation, the university makes a “good faith effort” to attract minority applicants for jobs said Shields.

Contact Jacqueline DeMate at [email protected].