The Supreme Court's ruling on affirmative action won't affect public colleges and universities in California, but it will affect private universities.
This is because of Proposition 209 which passed in 1996 and went into effect in 1998. The state rule outlawed admission preferences based on race and gender in the state's public institutions.
But the recent ruling means that private schools like the University of the Pacific will now have to ban affirmative action.
"Certainly with private universities, we'll see ramifications because they haven't had to cope with this over the past couple of decades as public universities have. So they're going to have to develop new strategies, there probably will be a drop in racial minorities who get into private universities," said Leslie Jacobs, professor of law, at McGeorge School of Law.
Jacobs is referring to the decline of enrollment among Black and Latino first-year students that the UC system experienced during the first admission year under Proposition 209.
In a statement, University of the Pacific President Christopher Callahan said
"University of the Pacific, California’s first and oldest university, is proud of our tradition of providing top-quality educational experiences to students of all backgrounds, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, religions, ideologies, and socioeconomic levels. The principles of diversity and inclusion are–and will always be–part of our core values.
While we will carefully analyze today’s Supreme Court decisions, we believe unequivocally that our diversity is an integral part of our great strength. Our commitment to creating and nurturing diverse, equitable, and inclusive communities on our three campuses–and maintaining welcoming environments for all learners–will remain as strong as ever."
As private universities pivot to ban affirmative action, concern is already brewing among other school leaders.
"We've emphasized the importance of diversity and that everyone has a chance to be able to go to the university and succeed at the university. My biggest worry now is that this will limit access at other universities," shared Sacramento State University President Robert Nelsen.
And it's a concern shared by minority groups.
"People aren't just looking at curriculum, they're looking at the student body and they're looking for people that look like them," said Adrienne Patton, a Sacramento State University student. "So for people who look like me who want to attend these institutions, this is almost a slap in the face, like, 'we don't want you here'."
萨克拉门托州立大学(Sacramento State University)的学生阿德里安娜·巴顿(Adrienne Patton)说:“人们不仅关注课程，还关注学生群体，他们在寻找与自己相似的人。”“所以对于像我这样想进入这些机构的人来说，这几乎是一记耳光，就像是对我们说‘我们不希望你在这里’。”
Patton believes that this move will make higher education more difficult to access for future generations.
Professor Jacobs adds that there is a statute in the constitution that requires private institutions to abide by this rule if they receive federal money, but if any of these schools were to reject the federal money, the affirmative action ban wouldn't apply.