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University of Maryland removes guide for teaching assistants amid uproar over sexist advice

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University of Maryland at College Park removes guide for teaching assistants amid uproar over its advice.

Political Science Group Apologizes for Holding Conference at Brigham Young

The Society for Political Methodology’s annual meeting will be held at Brigham Young University, the group announced Monday, despite ongoing concerns about the campus climate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender scholars. The society’s leaders said they’d given “insufficient forethought to matters of diversity” in allowing Brigham Young to host the meeting, chilling the participation of LGBTQ scholars and alarming the American Political Science Association’s Status Committee for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender Individuals in the Profession (a group not affiliated with the society).

Yet recent weeks have seen a series of “constructive, good-faith conversations” among the political science association’s LGBT Status Committee, Brigham Young and the society, the political methodology group said, yielding “what all parties believe is a positive outcome for 2018 and beyond.” The university has reaffirmed its commitment to welcoming visiting scholars in a spirit of inclusion and moved all events to an off-site location, for example, while the society is adopting a new diversity statement and formal code of conduct endorsed by the political science association's status committee. Host institutions of future conferences will be required to affirm these statements and conference participants will be required to sign the code of conduct. A plenary roundtable at the upcoming meeting also will discuss how to make the society more diverse and inclusive.

The society “apologizes for the way its host selection negatively affected professional opportunities for LGBTQ scholars,” its leaders said in a statement. “This was never intended and [the society] promises to be more attuned to diversity and inclusion in the future.”

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Study analyzes where colleges recruit and where they don't

New study finds that colleges go where students are likely to be white and wealthy.

Study finds undermatching remains major problem, especially for black students

Undermatching continues to limit opportunities for students, study finds, with impact on graduation rates as well.

New crowdsourced student affordability guide goes viral at University of Michigan

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After guide to affordable living at University of Michigan struck low-income students as tone-deaf, some created their own guide -- and it's gone viral.

How to dismantle the workings of whiteness and redistribute power in academe (opinion)

Salvador Vidal-Ortiz explores how to begin to dismantle the workings of whiteness and redistribute power dynamics in academe.

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Florida Atlantic professor criticized after his essays blaming "black supremacy" for slavery surface

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Florida Atlantic professor faces opposition from students after his essays blaming "black supremacy" for slavery and generally defending the Confederacy surface.

Why the titles of race courses matter (opinion)

Aptly titled courses and robust descriptions teach students a valuable lesson in speaking uncomfortable racial truths to white power, argues Ted Thornhill.

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Diversity Newsletter publication date: 
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
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The Politics of Race Course Titles

Men Likelier Than Women to Say They're Smarter Than Peers

Is intelligence a state of mind, dependent on gender? A new study in Advances in Physiology Education involving students in an undergraduate biology course says men see themselves as smarter than women do, even when they share the same grades. Researchers at Arizona State University asked students in the class to compare their intelligence with that of their classmates in general, and with one person with whom they worked closely in the course. Male students were 3.2 times more likely than women to say they were smarter than their partners, the paper says. A male student with a 3.3 grade point average is likely to say that he is smarter than 66 percent of his classmates, while a woman with the same GPA is likely to say she’s smarter than 54 percent of her peers, based on an advanced analysis. 

Researchers also found that students were more likely to report participating in class more than their partner if they had a higher academic “self-concept.” The findings “suggest that student characteristics can influence students’ academic self-concept, which in turn may influence their participation in small-group discussion and their academic achievement in active learning classes,” the paper says, especially as more and more biology courses move away from lectures to active learning. Non-native speakers of English also reported lower levels of academic self-concept than native speakers.

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Equity Gaps in College Spending

Education spending for students of color who attend public colleges in the United States trails spending on white students by an average of more than $1,000 per year, according to a new analysis from the Center for American Progress. Nationwide, the aggregate spending gap is roughly $5 billion per year.

Two primary factors contribute to this equity problem, the report said. Most states provide more financial support to research universities than to less selective community colleges and four-year institutions. And CAP said the "inequitable system of access to higher education" tends to disproportionally send students of color to the colleges that receive less funding.

"It is imperative that states, institutions and policy makers work together to improve the current system of college admissions and access to ensure the system does not sort students into institutions based on factors that are beyond their control," the report concludes. "Until the doors of opportunity are open to everyone, inequity will persist, and students of color will continue to be shortchanged at every level."

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