© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Students and pedestrians walk through the Yard at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Harvard University said on Thursday it will comply with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down its race-conscious student admissions programs in a way that will preserve its values on diversity and opportunity in higher education.

“We will certainly comply with the Court’s decision,” the prestigious university said in a statement.

“In the weeks and months ahead, drawing on the talent and expertise of our Harvard community, we will determine how to preserve, consistent with the Court’s new precedent, our essential values.”

The Supreme Court ruling involving Harvard and the University of North Carolina was a sharp setback to affirmative action policies often used to increase the number of Black, Hispanic and other underrepresented minority groups on campuses.

The 386-year-old Ivy League school’s top administrators issued a letter to the Harvard community that was essentially a reprimand to the high court.

They reaffirmed Harvard’s commitment to diversity and the debate it fosters as essential to academic excellence.

Harvard values a student body that reflects different facets of the human experience, the letter said, and it believes the university should be a place of opportunity, “a place whose doors remain open to those to whom they had long been closed.”


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