Bradley, ISU react to SCOTUS affirmative action ruling

Illinois State University
Illinois State University(ISU)
Published: Jun. 29, 2023 at 4:50 PM CDT
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PEORIA (25News Now) - The two largest universities in our viewing area say Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on affirmative action will have little impact on their enrollment practices.

Bradley University and Illinois State University say the decision to end affirmative action comes at a time when they both have more than 37% diversity within their respective student bodies.

“We consider a variety of factors when making decisions about who’s admitted to Bradley and who’s not admitted to Bradley. And that includes everything from student essays to transcripts to holistic descriptions that the student provides. We’re already looking at that entire package so for us, there’s no impact because we’re not going to change our behaviors,” said Teri Lucie Thompson, Bradley University’s V.P. Enrollment Management.

Thompson says Bradley’s incoming freshman class of almost 900 students is about 39% diverse.

Illinois State University is also using diversity, equity and inclusion practices in an effort to maintain a student body that reflects the population of the state.

“We can look at lived experience and in some cases, that can be a proxy for race, which is, of course, now off the table due to this latest ruling,” said Jeff Mauros, ISU’s Executive Director of Recruitment. “So I think there are ways institutions that have done things a certain way will be able to pivot and hopefully still achieve some of the goals they have in terms of diversifying their student populations without having to look specifically at race.”

ISU is preparing to have its largest freshman class in more than 30 years with 40% being from historically under-represented populations.