President George T. French Jr., Ph.D. on the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Affirmative Action

June 30, 2023

Dear Clark Atlanta Community,

I am deeply disappointed by the recent decision of the Supreme Court to strike down affirmative action, as it has the potential to alter college admissions policies across the nation drastically. However, it is important to note that the decision applies explicitly to institutions that use race as a determinative factor in their admissions decisions. Many predominantly white institutions (PWIs) have already considered racial factors in their admissions decisions without making it the sole determinant, even before this ruling.

While the court’s decision has struck down an effective remedy for racism and discrimination, it inadvertently presents an opportunity for HBCUs, such as Clark Atlanta University, to anticipate increased enrollment opportunities for students of color who may be denied access to PWIs. HBCUs have provided excellent education options to African Americans since their founding, with Atlanta University established in 1865 and Clark College in 1869. We are prepared to continue offering these viable options of excellence in education.

It is important to emphasize that there are plenty of prospective students and interest in HBCUs. Clark Atlanta University alone received 26,000 applications for our Fall Class, while we have a limited capacity of 1035 seats.

The overwhelming number of applications received by Clark Atlanta University is a testament to the enduring demand for HBCUs and the belief in the transformative power of education. There is a strong desire among students of color to seek out institutions that prioritize their success and provide a supportive environment.

By joining forces and advocating for the importance of HBCUs, we can rise above this setback and continue our crucial work of empowering African American students and people of color through education. I remain deeply committed to serving my community and advocating for the transformative power of HBCUs.

Yours in Service,

George T. French, Jr., Ph.D.