With race-based affirmative action taking yet another, potentially lethal blow after last Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision, experts say universities may soon need to get creative if they’re serious about diversity.
The ruling was relatively finite — it merely affirmed the constitutionality of Michigan’s 2006 ban on race as a factor in college admissions — but it opened the door for other states to do the same thing. The decision is the latest in several Supreme Court cases since 2011 that have chipped away at race-based admissions practices. But that doesn’t mean universities will cease trying to diversify—they’ll just find other ways to do it.
“I think class- and wealth-based affirmative action is the future,” said Dalton Conley, a professor of sociology, medicine and public policy at New York University. “You’re going to see a lot of experimentation on how to do this in the next few years.”