Statement From IHP President Paula Milone-Nuzzo
Today’s decision by the Supreme Court striking down affirmative action is not surprising, but it is inherently disappointing and marks a significant setback for the higher education landscape.
First, what did the court decide? In a 6-3 vote, it declared that institutions of higher learning can no longer use race as a criterion for admissions, thus removing one of the most effective tools to promote diversity that increases the chance to earn a degree for those who typically might be shut out. Having affirmative action means racial diversity, which benefits students of all backgrounds who will be entering an increasingly diverse workforce after graduation.
The ruling will have ripple effects across pockets of America; conservative states will use this as a club to make sure that justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts do not happen in their institutions of higher learning while schools that believe diversity lifts all boats will continue to work to enroll diverse students because it's part of their values.
At the IHP, we are committed to educating a workforce that represents the population of people our graduates will serve following graduation. Improving diversity in healthcare is an imperative, and so is raising the bar in how underserved communities have been treated. A diverse healthcare workforce is the first step in addressing problems with equity in healthcare. Health care has a long history of inadequate care access and quality to minoritized populations. The data are unequivocal - we have not provided equal access and equal care to minoritized populations. Our country needs to do better and the IHP is committed to that goal.
Because our admission process is holistic, we consider multiple variables. We look at the whole person, which includes their academic background, their contributions to society, and their passion for improving the systems of health care delivery that are currently flawed. We don’t set quotas based on race and we admit students based on their academic portfolio, their commitment to working with us to achieve our mission and those who have values consistent with the IHP core values.
While this ruling is a disappointment, the IHP will continue to live our values and work to enroll diverse and engaged students who are committed to improving health care for all. We will continue to live our JEDI values and continue on our journey to reducing systemic oppression and eliminating racism, both individually and as an institution.
We won’t follow, we will lead, like we always have.
Paula Milone-Nuzzo, PhD, RN, FHHC, FAAN
President and John Hilton Knowles Professor