Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action

Dear Colleagues,

With the announcement today of the Supreme Court’s decision on affirmative action, we want to call your attention to the University’s statement on the ruling and briefly express our thoughts. Each of our schools has for many years been focused on creating a more equitable admissions process, one that recognizes and addresses the nation’s long and persistent history of racial discrimination and exclusion. This is part of a university-wide embrace of diversity that defines Columbia as much as any core value.

It is an article of faith shared by the four of us and the university’s leadership that a diverse student body and faculty are inseparable from our mission of educating and training students for professional excellence and fully engaged lives. Moreover, ensuring that health care is provided by a racially and ethnically diverse workforce is central to our commitment to improving health outcomes, reducing health disparities in marginalized communities, and moving closer to a thriving and equitable society.

The work of understanding the practical implications of the Court’s decision is only just beginning. Going forward, our shared responsibility is to preserve the qualities and values that we cherish, while observing the law as it exists after today’s rulings. We will do so by working closely with Columbia’s leadership, legal counsel, and our respective admissions directors to ensure that our admissions processes comply with the new constitutional landscape announced today.

Diversity is fundamental to who we are and inseparable from what we do. Our values will not change, nor will our dedication to fulfilling them. We will keep you informed as discussions about the implications of the decision proceed and there is more to share.


Katrina Armstrong, MD
Chief Executive Officer, Columbia University Irving Medical Center  
Dean, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons  

Lorraine Frazier, RN, PhD  
Dean, School of Nursing  

Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH  
Dean, Mailman School of Public Health  

Christian S. Stohler, DMD, DrMedDent  
Dean, College of Dental Medicine