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Rice University issued a strong defense of its affirmative action efforts, even as the Supreme Court is preparing to decide whether affirmative action is legal.

“At Rice, diversity, equity, inclusion and excellence underscores everything we do. They are foundational values of the university that we are committed to as a community and believe are essential to our continued success,” wrote President Reginald DesRoches, Provost Amy Dittmar and Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Alex Byrd.

“Like many in the higher education community, the Rice administration is closely following the affirmative action cases before the Supreme Court. Rulings are expected this spring or summer, and while it would be premature for us to speculate or comment before we know the outcomes, we write to you today to affirm Rice’s commitment to uphold diversity, equity and inclusion as a core part of our educational experience and research mission, and our commitment to excellence,” they wrote. “Our admissions office and general counsel are preparing for various outcomes. We will strive to do all we can, within the bounds of the law, to continue to recruit and retain a widely diverse student body. Rice’s student body, faculty and staff are a multicultural reflection of the world, and our goal every year is to enroll a diverse class of the most talented students as well as hire and retain faculty and staff from across the country and around the globe.”

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