Yale’s Steadfast Commitment to Diversity

August 13, 2020

Dear Members of the Yale Community,

Earlier today, the Department of Justice informed Yale of its allegation that Yale’s undergraduate admissions practices discriminate on the basis of race, particularly in regard to Asian American and white applicants. As you may recall, the department began an investigation in 2018, when other universities were facing legal challenges that aimed to overturn Supreme Court precedent permitting the consideration of race in college admissions.

Yale has been fully cooperating with the DOJ investigation. We have produced large quantities of documents and data, and we are continuing to do so. However, the DOJ concluded its investigation before reviewing and receiving all the information it has requested.

The department’s allegation is baseless. Given our university’s commitment to complying with federal law, I am dismayed that the DOJ inexplicably rushed to conclude its investigation without conducting a fully informed analysis, which would have shown that Yale’s practices absolutely comply with decades of Supreme Court precedent.

Yale College will not change its admissions processes in response to today’s letter because the DOJ is seeking to impose a standard that is inconsistent with existing law. We will continue to look at the whole person when selecting whom to admit among the many thousands of highly qualified applicants. We will continue to look at what students have accomplished and hope to contribute to Yale and the world. We will continue to create a student body that is rich in a diverse range of ideas, expertise, and experiences. Such a student body greatly enhances students’ academic experiences and maximizes their future success. By bringing people of different backgrounds, talents, and perspectives together, we best prepare our students for a complex and dynamic world.

Yale’s admissions practices help us realize our mission to improve the world today and for future generations. At this unique moment in our history, when so much attention properly is being paid to issues of race, Yale will not waver in its commitment to educating a student body whose diversity is a mark of its excellence.


Peter Salovey
Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology