Speeches & Commentary

Our Commitment to Diversity

Dear Washington University community,

Today, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling that will prevent higher education institutions like ours from considering race as a factor in admissions decisions. While we must respect and abide by this decision, it’s important for you to know one thing: Our commitment to cultivating, welcoming, and supporting a diverse student body that includes individuals from a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives has notchanged and will not change.

At WashU, diversity is critically important to our community because it allows our students, faculty, and staff to learn, teach, and work in an environment where they are exposed to a wide variety of people, ideas, and experiences. Without this, we would not be able to provide the world-class educational experience that defines us as an institution and as a community. We place a high value on diversity, inclusion, and access, and we realize the tremendous difference a WashU education and experience can make for students from all backgrounds. We are committed to ensuring a diverse student body, as a community of learners, because it’s who we are and who we want to be. 

We are reviewing the Supreme Court decision to understand how it will impact our admissions processes, and we will make necessary adjustments to ensure that we are following the law while maintaining student body diversity as a foundational priority. Given the limitations, we know we will have to sharpen our focus on this commitment. As your chancellor, you have my word that we will make this happen.

To our current and prospective students from diverse backgrounds, our message is this: We want you here. We need you here. We will not waver in our commitment to creating a community where all of our students are welcome, included, and supported on your paths to success. 

While there will certainly be a variety of reactions to this ruling within our community, I want to acknowledge that for many of you, this decision is personally painful. While I cannot put myself in all of your shoes, I can understand your feelings of disappointment and frustration. Please know that you have my support and that you belong at WashU. 

This topic will undoubtedly continue to be at the forefront of conversation, both nationally and on our campus, for quite some time. When we reconvene for the new academic year this fall, we intend to create space for dialogue and engagement, and I hope you will bring your voices and perspectives to those conversations. 


Andrew D. Martin