Court rules for UT Austin in Fisher case

Commencement 2013 Saturday evening

This afternoon, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit announced its decision in the case of Fisher vs. the University of Texas at Austin, which had been remanded to the Fifth Circuit by the Supreme Court last summer. In a 2-1 decision, the Fifth Circuit found in favor of UT Austin. I am very gratified that the Court’s ruling recognizes the constitutionality of the University’s admission policy under the Supreme Court’s recent guidance.

In its decision, the majority wrote, “It is equally settled that universities may use race as part of a holistic admissions program where it cannot otherwise achieve diversity.” The court continued, “This interest is compelled by the reality that university education is more the shaping of lives than the filling of heads with facts — the classic assertion of the humanities.”

We remain committed to assembling a student body at The University of Texas at Austin that brings with it the educational benefits of diversity while respecting the rights of all students. This ruling ensures that our campus, our state, and the entire nation will benefit from the exchange of ideas and thoughts that happens when students who are diverse in all regards come together in the classroom, at campus events, and in all aspects of campus life.

Bill's Signature

Update on campus leadership

I’m delighted to inform you that I will be serving as president of The University of Texas at Austin through the 2014-2015 academic year and the coming legislative session, after which I will return to...

Coach Strong doing a tough job well

In recent days, criminal charges and violations of team rules have led Coach Charlie Strong to dismiss and suspend multiple students from our football team. These are unfortunate losses, but I fully support Coach Strong...


  1. Christine says:

    As a current student I am proud of UT for standing up to people who still believe in a segregated Texas. To those alleged alumni who’ve commented above: we don’t want money from racist donors.

  2. Harv Largesse says:

    Interesting that UT is lauding its narrowly focused “diversity” plan. The focus is on a couple of active groups, true diversity is not remotely being pursued. The majority of graduating seniors has been Hispanic since 2010 yet they still wear the label “minority”. UT claims to abide by a “holistic” approach in considering a student for enrollment, every child in the state should be considered in a true holistic and FAIR manner that respects true diversity and equality. If this does not happen, UT as an institution becomes a farce.

  3. Disappointed in U T about this. I used to love my school, but not right now. Don’t bother asking me for donations now. I can’t support a school that doesn’t value hard work and achievement over checking boxes. So much for fairness.

    • Who worked harder and had more achievements than who? The plaintiff in this case was not debating her relative achievements but the idea that certain background factors can play a role in the admissions process. There is no evidence that the plaintiff would have clearly been admitted even if those ‘check boxes’ were not a factor. Admissions is a complicated process and surely is not perfect but at least point your argument in the appropriate direction.

    • Hello M!

      As much as I would like to agree with your assessment, I cannot. Consider this, the State of Texas, I believe, is the ONLY state that gives automatic admissions to any of it’s public universities to ANY student who reaches the top ten percent (10%) of their class, regardless of ethnicity. Look at the statistics for UT enrollments for 2012 (2013 isn’t available yet):

      American Indian or Alaskan Native: 0.3%
      Asian: 17.7%
      Black or African American: 4.4%
      Hispanic/Latino: 20.9%
      Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander: 0.1%
      White: 49.1%
      Two or more races: 2.5%
      Race/ethnicity unknown: 0.4%
      Non-resident alien: 4.8%

      Yes, person works hard to get into the school of their dreams. If you achieved top 10%, apply to any public school in Texas, you’ll get in. However I see the use of ethnicity as another for the university to keep diverse. By the way, I’m considered to be a white person with hispanic descent. You don’t get accepted at UT, then apply at another school – there are plenty more in the state who will admit you. Remember, it is their loss, not yours.

  4. Virgil Moore says:

    Dr. Bill Powers – You rock! Wish we could have you around for ten more years!
    Virgil Moore, Texas Exes Life Member

  5. Randolph Curson says:

    I am ashamed to have two degrees from UT. There should be equality in admissions, period. Why should other than whites be given preferential treatment? There is an anti white bias here here, led by the administration. Good riddance to them all. Quit calling me for donations.

  6. Jim Mitchell says:

    I am ashamed to be a graduate of a University thay uses race as an admissions policy, excluding more qualified students.

  7. Texas ExPat UT83 says:

    UT will see not one dime of mine while it continues to discriminate based on race.

    Texas ExPat
    BBA ’83, JD ’88

  8. Great lets reward minorities for being minorities. And we wonder why our country is going down the drain.