Do College Graduates Think Their Alma Maters Adequately Investigate Discrimination?

A new poll conducted by the Gallup organization found that 27 percent of college graduates strongly agreed with the statement: “If I had raised an issue about discrimination on campus, I am confident my college or university would have fully investigated it.” Graduates of state-operated educational institutions were more likely to agree with the statement than graduates of private colleges and universities.

Some 5 percent of all graduates strongly disagreed with the statement and another 8 percent disagreed. At private colleges and universities, 16 percent of graduates either strongly disagreed or disagreed with the statement, compared to 12 percent at state-operated schools. Women were significantly less likely than men to strongly agree with the statement.

When the data was broken down by racial and ethnic group, the survey showed that only 19 percent of Black graduates strongly agree that their institution would have fully investigated a reported issue of discrimination, compared with 29 percent of White graduates. Black graduates were nearly twice as likely as White graduates to strongly disagree with the statement.

The authors of the report note that “for organizations to be truly inclusive, individuals must believe their organization would do the right thing if they reported an issue. For most, this belief that their organization would do the right thing means their institution would fully investigate any complaint. Unfortunately, on the important issue of discrimination, only about a quarter of recent college graduates are confident that their report would have been fully investigated.”

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