factors that may contribute to the student body diversity are meaningfully considered” (Joint Statement, 2003).
In light of this decision, and given the economic realities of higher education, some large-enrollment and less prosperous colleges and universities may decide to abandon race as an admissions characteristic altogether. Should large institutions choose this route, challenges will accrue to health professions schools hoping to find a cadre of diverse students seeking admission, let alone expecting to graduate a group of students who leave their college years enriched by diversity experiences.
2. Recommendation. Given the Supreme Court ruling on June 23, 2003, medical schools should team up with other health professions to discern how to effectively work within the law to find ways in which to increase diversity in the admissions process.
3. Recommendation. Accrediting bodies should carefully review existing standards and develop more specific references to racial and ethnic diversity both in the student admissions processes and in faculty recruitment.
Alan B. Krueger, Benheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University and a co-editor of The Journal of the European Economic Association, recently observed, “A quarter century from now, the Supreme Court will have a tougher call as to whether diversity is still a compelling state” (Krueger, 2003, p. C2). The legacy of discrimination is a powerful retardant to progress in attaining a diverse health-care workforce. However, the Supreme Court has masterfully crafted a constitutional rationale and set an optimistic agenda that is realistic in terms of diversity in higher education, particularly in leadership producing graduate professional programs. Because it addresses and resolves discrimination at its core, diversity, if established as an accreditation requirement, will hasten the elimination of race consciousness in college and university admissions.
In fulfilling the social contract, institutions/programs have an obligation to ensure that health profession and medical school graduates demonstrate achievement through outcome measures as specified in the accreditation standards. In addition, they must meet graduation requirements, pass appropriate licensure exams, pass appropriate certification exams, and satisfy other criteria that measure competency as deemed appropriate by the institution/program. The question arises as to whether these requirements