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99 Former College Presidents Speak Out for Campus Diversity

Signed statement responds to Supreme Court decision on race in college admissions

DAYTON, Ohio, June 29, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The Charles F. Kettering Foundation today announced a new jointly signed statement by 99 former college and university presidents in support of diversity in higher education. The group is deeply concerned about the impact the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard will have on our democracy.

In February 2023, the Kettering Foundation and the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) brought together former college and university presidents in Washington, D.C., to form a leadership group to support higher education and its role in American democracy. Representatives of Public Agenda, PEN America, Campus Compact and Sustained Dialogue Institute, were also present.

The group committed to work together to confront urgent challenges to democracy and higher education, such as efforts to undermine public support for higher education and recent and pending state legislation to discourage attention to racial inequality in the curriculum. The jointly signed statement is the first product of their work together. As the former presidents argue in the statement, "The future of our democracy depends upon a shared appreciation of our differences. Despite the Court's decision, we must redouble our efforts and explore alternative means of creating richly diverse college campuses that reflect the nation's youth."

"The ability of higher education to embrace diversity has a profound impact that goes far beyond individual campuses. It influences the health of our democracy," said Kettering Foundation President and CEO Sharon L. Davies. "The Kettering Foundation is proud to stand with the statement and vision of these former college presidents."  

To read the full statement on the Kettering Foundation's website, click here.

The Charles F. Kettering Foundation, headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, operating foundation rooted in the American tradition of inventive research. Founded in 1927 "to sponsor and carry out scientific research for the benefit of humanity," the foundation is inspired by the innovativeness and ingenuity of its founder, the American inventor Charles F. Kettering. For the past four decades, the foundation's research and programs have focused on the needs of democracy worldwide.

Melinda Gilmore
Charles F. Kettering Foundation
Director of Communications
Cell: (937) 260-8584

SOURCE Charles F. Kettering Foundation

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