The University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine admits in a new report that there is some basis for its reputation as being racist and unfriendly toward minorities.
The report, conducted internally, found that blacks and other underrepresented groups like foreign students and women, were discriminated against to such a degree “that potential applicants are being dissuaded from considering the school.”
The report found that the hostility was especially felt by black students.
“This perception may be so pervasive as to have impacted the reputation of the School,” the report noted.
Some faculty members were worried that the report’s findings could make it even harder to recruit students of color, according to the Associated Press. But one of the report’s authors said it was too late for such concerns.
“We can’t get around that,” Brenda Allen, an associate vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion for the university’s medical school in Denver, told the AP.
According to the report, minority students feel that white male students receive preferential treatment; 11 percent reported hearing disparaging racial comments from faculty, and 24 percent reported hearing similar comments from other students; and minorities reported that there is a perception on campus that they aren’t qualified to attend the dental school, but were only enrolled as part of an affirmative action program.
Several students have also reported being racially profiled by campus security.
Blacks weren’t the only group feeling marginalized. Hispanics, women, students from foreign backgrounds and people with “strong religious beliefs” also reported experiencing discrimination.
“Twenty percent indicated a belief that the School has a sexist environment; 13 percent feel the environment is racist; and 12 percent believe it to be heterosexist,” the report concluded.
Eugene Brooks, a professor at the school, told the Denver Post that only 10 black students have graduated from the college since 1977, compared to 1,600 white students. He also said no black students have ever been admitted to the orthodontics or general residency programs.
“It’s clear there are serious issues and challenges that need to be dealt with,” Allen told the Post.
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