Statement from President Bill Powers Regarding 5th Circuit Appeals Court Hearing in Fisher v. Texas

Nov. 13, 2013

AUSTIN, Texas — The following is a statement from University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers regarding today’s Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals hearing in the case of Fisher versus University of Texas at Austin.

“As this case has traveled to the U.S. Supreme Court and now back to Austin, our determination to defend our admission policy has not wavered.

 The University of Texas at Austin has a compelling interest in achieving the educational benefits of a diverse student body. To achieve this aim, our holistic admissions policy is a tool that is necessary, that respects the rights of all our students, and is consistent with the U.S. Constitution.

 Our defense today before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals restated that the University’s admissions policy adheres to the strict standards that the U.S. Supreme Court first articulated in the Bakke case, reaffirmed in the Grutter case, and accepted again earlier this year in the Fisher case.

To suggest that we have not tried race-neutral admissions policies ignores the University’s history. In fact, prior to the introduction of the admissions policy being defended today, the University saw the number of minority enrollments drop precipitously or stagnate, despite more targeted recruiting, increased scholarships, the use of socioeconomic factors in holistic review, and the introduction of the Top 10 percent law.

The U.S. Supreme Court asked the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to ‘assess whether the University has offered sufficient evidence to prove that its admissions program is narrowly tailored to obtain the educational benefits of diversity.’

The record contains ample evidence to make that determination again, and we look forward to a favorable decision from this court.”

For links to the court filings in the case, please go to:

For more information, contact: Tara Doolittle, 471-4550.

2 Comments to "Statement from President Bill Powers Regarding 5th Circuit Appeals Court Hearing in Fisher v. Texas"

1.  Bill curran said on Nov. 14, 2013

Affirmative Action will be viewed in the future as racist, which is what it is. It says that you are not smart enough to get into our school, so we will lower the standards for you. What kind of example does that send to these students? I think the UT Regents need to read some works from Thomas Sowell in regards to the belief that you are telling these kids they have different and harder obstacle which is just not true. But they then believe that. UT admissions is a faulty system.
It should be colorblind.

2.  Rashida said on Nov. 18, 2013

Affirmative Action is not a perfect solution to our nation's diversity problem, it is however, an attempt at addressing the equity issues that abound at large. Speaking in opposition to the previous poster, Affirmative Action does not necessarily argue that "you are not smart enough", but it does acknowledge the long history of racial injustice that has cultivated a nearly insurmountable disadvantage. It also says that this disadvantage has excluded worthy individuals from having access to education, jobs and other opportunities, so in same manner that individuals have been excluded due to race because it has been seen as a detriment, we shall now reverse those markers and view them as an asset and a means (not the ONLY means) for inclusion.