Diversity in Higher Education: The Legal Landscape After Fisher v. University of Texas


Foley Hoag LLP

Seaport West
155 Seaport Boulevard
Boston, MA 02210-2600

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July 25, 2013 8:00AM–9:30AM


On June 24, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an important ruling on affirmative action in higher education admissions. This ruling, Fisher v. University of Texas, reaffirms the Court’s prior rulings in Bakke, Grutter, and Gratz, but at the same time opens the door to new legal challenges to the consideration of race and ethnicity in admissions. Although UT Austin is a public university, the ruling in Fisher will likely apply to private institutions as well.

Foley Hoag attorneys Dean Richlin and Robert Toone will host a breakfast seminar to discuss the Fisher ruling and compliance and strategic planning issues for colleges and universities. Topics will include:

  • What changes did Fisher make to existing law?
  • How far does the Supreme Court’s ruling extend beyond the unique facts at issue in the undergraduate admissions program at UT Austin?
  • What must a college or university do to establish that student diversity is essential to its educational mission?
  • Must an institution show that race-neutral policies are insufficient to achieve diversity and, if so, how can this be done?
  • To what extent will the judgments of college and university administrators continue to receive deference from the courts?
  • What risk of litigation do colleges and universities face after Fisher, and how can that risk best be managed?

This seminar will provide information of interest for counsel, administrators, and policymakers in higher education.