Skip to main content

Statements from President Crow

ASU President Michael M. Crow on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Affirmative Action in university admissions

July 07, 2023

To the ASU community:

As we reflect on the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding the use of affirmative action in university admission decisions, I urge you to pause and consider the progress Arizona State University has made in attracting a student body that is representative of the people of Arizona.

Going forward, the United States simply will need more commitment, more innovation and more hard work from all of its public universities to advance the kind of principles found in the ASU Charter. Our goal at ASU is not success through exclusion. Our goal is to build a great university measured by the people we include while offering teaching, learning, and the creation of new knowledge at the same levels of excellence as any other university in the country. We now do that, and then some. 

In 2002, ASU did not have a diverse student body. While ASU sought to become the people’s university, it was unable to achieve those goals because the university wasn’t accessible financially. And ASU struggled to achieve the aspiration of delivering higher education at scale because it had not yet successfully made its case for the importance of higher education to the full breadth of families in Arizona. 

So, we began changing our approach. From 2003 to 2010, we made steady progress. And from 2010 to 2023 we have made more progress. While the people of Arizona, through a ballot initiative, prohibited the use of race-based quota and decision-making, we rededicated our efforts to provide university financial aid at the levels necessary to expand access to ASU. We also rededicated ourselves to attracting and empowering a great faculty, and to building student centric programs and pathways. So, without quotas or race-based preference, we have grown to be one of the most diverse universities in the country. And that is accelerating.

The key is our heart

Why are we here?  Are we here to be great through exclusion? No, we are not. We are here to be great through inclusion and through the achievement of students from all families and from all socio-economic backgrounds.

Thank you for all of your efforts, your passion and your energy to advance ASU to this moment. And I look forward to continuing to work with you to innovate, to serve more students, and to build ASU to have a meaningful impact on all of the people we are here to serve.

A photo of a bar chart showing ASU's progress in enhancing the diversity of its student population with handwritten notes from the university president.