Students Support Racially Diverse Campuses, Say Book’s Authors

College students broadly support having racially diverse campuses and that support cuts across ethnicities, genders, socioeconomic status and partisan affiliations, say authors of a new book, Campus Diversity: The Hidden Consensus, in an article in The Washington Post.

The authors are John M. Carey, professor at Dartmouth College; Katherine Clayton, Stanford University Ph.D. student; and Yusaku Horiuchi, professor at Dartmouth College. Their book is published by Cambridge University Press, 2019.

John CareyJohn Carey

While researching their book, the authors treated students as if they were administrators and used a method called “conjoint analysis.” That is, the authors didn’t ask about affirmative action as an abstract policy issue. “Instead, it presented students at seven universities — and faculty at two — with decisions much like those faced by real admissions committees,” wrote the authors in the Post.

The authors made three critical findings.

“… students cared most about academic achievement when making their choices … respondents consistently favored student applicants from groups that have traditionally been underrepresented in American higher education …” and when broken into distinct groups, “… by race/ethnicity, by gender, by socioeconomic status, and even by political partisanship, or by whether they said they supported race-conscious admissions on conventional survey questions — we found their decisions were much more similar than we expected.”