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Bentley Library Quad

Race-Conscious Admissions and the Future of Diversity at Bentley

June 29, 2023

Dear Bentley Community,

This morning, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion signaling the end of race-based college admissions. I know that many of you are wondering how this ruling will affect future incoming classes at Bentley. In anticipation of today’s ruling, Enrollment Management and other offices across campus have been working to review our procedures to make sure we are ready to comply with the Court’s opinion and to continue to attract racially diverse classes to Bentley.  

We know from our own experience at Bentley that to create the best learning environment, universities need to be intentional about diversifying their student population, attracting and then supporting learners from all backgrounds and welcoming differing and even conflicting points of view. That was true last week, it is true today, and it will remain our approach. 

Bentley University will continue to use several factors to inform our decision-making when admitting incoming classes. We will, as the Court instructs, treat each applicant based on their individual experiences, including how race affected their life. We will also continue to partner with organizations serving racially diverse communities to ensure we reach and attract talented applicants from those communities. We remain steadfast in our commitment to creating a diverse campus community.   

The emphasis on cultivating a diverse student population is both the right thing to do and makes our university stronger. Learning in a racially diverse environment broadens our students’ perspectives, strengthens their capacity to think and reflect critically and prepares them for the increasingly diverse and pluralistic economic marketplace they will enter. Those benefits also extend outside the classroom to athletics, clubs and other activities, where students are exposed to new ways of thinking and learn to navigate varying and “high context” environments. We believe that our students will graduate better prepared to productively engage, live and lead having been part of a community that endeavors to mirror the richness of diversity found in the world beyond our campus. And we know that our employers expect a diverse and highly qualified pipeline of talent from our university.   

Some who oppose race-conscious admissions seem to believe that racially diverse students are less qualified than and take spots away from more qualified students. But we know from our own experience at Bentley that this is false. This past academic year, we welcomed the most diverse class in the history of our university, and its members had the highest cumulative high school GPA of any incoming class in years. That is something of which I am exceptionally proud, and I hope you are, too.  

Bentley University has been adapting to the changing marketplace for over 100 years with courage and prescience, and our focus on attracting, retaining and graduating diverse students is a continuation of this approach. This is who we are.   

We are at our best when we intentionally surround ourselves with people from different backgrounds and with differing beliefs, experiences and opinions. College campuses should reflect the world and workplaces that our students will join after graduation. I am proud that Bentley will continue to welcome classes made up of students from diverse backgrounds and beliefs and I know that our community will be better for it.  

So, while some may be concerned about the impact that today’s Supreme Court ruling may have, know that at Bentley, we will always strive to ensure that our future Falcons continue to reflect the amazing diversity of the country and world in which we live. No court ruling or legal proceeding will change that commitment. 

Most Sincerely,
President Chrite