State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

A Message on the Supreme Court Decision on Affirmative Action

This message was sent on June 29, 2023:

Dear Climate School Community Members,

Earlier today, the United States Supreme Court ruled on affirmative action in higher education.  I encourage you to read the University’s response to the decision and also review President Bollinger’s previous writings and commentary on this topic. I am in touch with University Leadership, and I will ensure our community is kept up to date as the University reviews the ruling and law and works to better understand today’s decision.

As a new school dedicated to educating students to lead transformative efforts that address the climate crisis, a diverse student body, faculty, and administration are foundational to our mission. Racial and ethnic diversity across sectors and disciplines that are focused on climate and the environment is a prerequisite for the innovations, knowledge-based solutions, community-based efforts, and research that will propel us toward “just and prosperous societies on a healthy planet” – the charge of our school.

It remains our individual and collective responsibility to ensure that our community is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. We will continue to make every effort possible, in compliance with the law, to fulfill this fundamental commitment and to urgently address the climate crisis. There is much work for us to advance together, and I am eager to collaborate with our community to do so.


Jeffrey Shaman
Interim Dean, Columbia Climate School
Professor of Environmental Health Sciences and of Climate,
Mailman School of Public Health

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