Saturday, July 12, 2008

Photoshop Diversity: Universities misrepresent minority presence on their campuses

The viewbooks of hundreds of universities give the impression that they have more minority students than they actually have say a sociologist at Augsburg College:
Black students made up an average of 7.9 percent of students at the colleges studied, but 12.4 percent of those in viewbooks. Asian students are also more likely to be found in viewbooks than on campus, making up 3.3 percent of real students on average and 5.1 percent of portrayed students.
The problem seems to have primarily to do with black students:
...“Black equals diversity for many people. If you show African American students, people think that means your institution is diverse,” said Timothy D. Pippert, an assistant professor of sociology at Augsburg, who led the study. “They are defining diversity as that face.”
It wouldn't be the first time universities misrepresented how diverse they were.

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