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Joint CEO & Trustees Resolution Denouncing the SCOTUS Decision on College Admissions

Joint Resolution By California Community College Trustees & Administrators Denouncing the SCOTUS Decision on College Admissions

WHEREAS, the Community College League of California has two policy boards, the California Community College Trustees (CCCT) Board and the Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges (CEOCCC) Board.


WHEREAS the CCCT Board consists of 21 members elected statewide by the 73 district governing boards and a student-member elected by the student trustees, and the CEOCCC Board consists of 15 members who serve as chancellors, superintendent/presidents, and presidents of colleges and districts representing regions in the state and who are elected by the CEOs in each region.


WHEREAS we, the CCCT and CEOCCC Boards take positions on and formulate education policy issues that come before the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, the State Legislature, and other relevant state-level boards and commissions.


WHEREAS we, the CCCT and CEOCCC Boards believe that higher education has proven to be the best strategy for social and economic mobility, including as a promising equalizer for many people of color who have historically faced institutional racism and overt and covert denial of equal opportunity and equitable access to education itself.


WHEREAS we, the CCCT and CEOCCC Boards, through the establishment of the CCCT Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility and Anti-Racism (DEIAA) workgroup and CEO Racial Equity and Inclusive Excellence (REIE) Taskforce have collaborated to actively support the California Community Colleges systemwide efforts to increase DEIAA throughout our 116 colleges.


WHEREAS the United States Supreme Court’s decisions in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v University of North Carolina undermined more than four decades of precedent that had legally recognized as compelling interest the educational benefits of racially diverse student populations in higher education.


WHEREAS we, the CCCT and CEOCCC Boards are deeply concerned that the judicial decisions of such a daunting nature could have damaging repercussions and chilling effects among college trustees and administrators who are managing these new legal restrictions and could cause them to overinterpret out of fear and take actions far beyond the laws’ requirements.


WHEREAS the State of California witnessed a decline in the racial diversity of student bodies at universities across the state following the passage of Prop. 209 in 1996 that prohibited the use of race as a factor for admission into institutions of higher education, like the Supreme Court’s recent rulings striking down race conscious admissions for UNC and Harvard’s admission policies.


WHEREAS, in response to the SCOTUS decision, the leadership of the University of California, California State University, and California Community Colleges have maintained that their respective institutions remain committed to racial diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging as core values, despite operating under the legal restrictions of Proposition 209 for over 25 years, and we, as leaders of the 73 community college districts in California, have continued to make measurable progress on racial equity in student access and success, including racially diversifying California Community College faculty, despite the legal restrictions of California’s Proposition 209.


WHEREAS we, the CCCT and CEOCCC Boards are committed to supporting historically underrepresented students in transferring to public and private colleges and universities that may now need to reassess their admissions programs due to the legal restrictions set forth now by the SCOTUS decisions.


WHEREAS, California’s Community Colleges, with our open access and already richly diverse and talented student population serve as pathways to diversifying universities and community colleges, will need to continue advancing racial diversity and closing racial student success gaps in transfers to diversify many of the transferring universities, both public and private universities nationally considering the SCOTUS decisions.


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the CCCT Board and CEOCCC Board support historically underrepresented students of color in transferring to public and private colleges and universities that may now need to reassess their admissions programs due to the legal restrictions set forth by the SCOTUS decisions.


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the CCCT Board and CEOCCC Board call on all trustees and administrators of the 73 community college districts in California to continue to promote racial equity and equitable protection through anti-racism work at the structural, cultural, and individual levels in areas such as curriculum, teaching pedagogy and andragogy, student services, remedial education reform, focused outreach, racial data disaggregation and analysis and reporting accountability, equitable financial aid, student basic needs, and equity programs such as dual enrollment, budgeting, and faculty diversity.


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the CCCT Board and CEOCCC Board encourage colleges to actively push back against repressive legalism and not overreact or overinterpret the SCOTUS decision to the detriment of students of color and their equitable access and success, and to inform their respective campus community about this possible chilling effect caused by the SCOTUS decisions.


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the CCCT Board and CEOCCC Board encourage colleges, particularly counseling divisions, transfer centers, and financial aid departments, to learn more about how universities are making changes to their admissions process so that historically underrepresented students still have an equitable opportunity to be admitted and how they may express their racial and ethnic identity in their transfer application as allowed under the recent SCOTUS decisions.


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED on this day of November 16, 2023, the CCCT Board and CEOCCC Board, by passage of this Resolution, jointly affirm our unyielding commitment to racial diversity and racial equity at our college campuses.


CERTIFICATION

WE, the elected officers of the California Community Colleges Trustees Board (CCCT) and Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges (CEOCCC) hereby certify that the foregoing Resolution was enacted by a noticed meeting of the CCCT and CEOCCC Board of Directors.


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