What people say about Color and Money-

"Anyone interested in the inequities of the selective college admissions process will find Color and Money clear-eyed, hard-hitting, enlightening, and informative."--Rachel Toor, author of Admissions Confidential: An Insider's Account of the Elite College Selection Process.
"For those concerned about why the march toward social justice in America has faltered badly for nearly forty years, Peter Schmidt's Color and Money is a highly instructive--and greatly disturbing--guidepost." --Richard Kluger, author of Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality.
"An indispensible guide to the debate over affirmative action in the United States."--Michael Lind, author of The Next American Nation.
"This book is a must read for anyone concerned with access to higher education, especially to the nation’s elite universities, as well as with larger questions of social policy and social justice."--Terry MacTaggart, Former Chancellor, University of Maine System
"Books on the highly-charged issue of affirmative action are usually one-sided and inflammatory. Peter Schmidt's Color and Money is a wonderful exception. It provides an honest and fair examination that is also passionate and illuminating."--Richard D. Kahlenberg, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation, and author of The Remedy: Class, Race, and Affirmative Action

Peter Schmidt is available as a speaker

Peter Schmidt is available to speak at colleges, bookstores, schools, churches, and at gatherings of education associations. His past speaking engagements are listed at the bottom of this Web site. If interested in having him appear, e-mail him at schmidt_peter@msn.com. He also is available as an expert source for journalists covering affirmative action. Those on a tight deadline should email him at peter.schmidt@chronicle.com.

Hear interviews with Peter Schmidt

Jack Lessenberry of Michigan Public Radio talked to Peter Schmidt about Color and Money in August. You can hear the interview here. Reading the book inspired Jack to write an essay on it, which you can read here. You also can hear Peter Schmidt talk about his book on the NPR program Justice Talking and in a Chronicle of Higher Education podcast.

Color and Money Is a College Course!

Many college professors are now using Color and Money in their classes, but Jack Dougherty, the director of the educational studies program at Trinity College in Connecticut, has gone a big step beyond. He has decided to name a freshman seminar "Color and Money" and to structure the class around the book. He has graciously agreed to share his syllabus, available here, for faculty members at other colleges who may have the same idea.


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Universities Criticized for TV Spots Depicting Whiteness of Campuses

A paper presented last week at an annual national conference of education researchers alleges that the promotional TV spots produced by universities depict their campuses as unwelcoming to minorities.

Brian Bourke and Michael S. Harris, both assistant professors of higher education at the University of Alabama, analyzed the 30-second television spots that 43 colleges aired during the 2006-7 Bowl Championship Series. Their paper, presented in New York last week at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, concluded that the overwhelming majority of the students an alumni depicted in the ads were white, and that the ads therefore send potential minority applicants the message that they will be tokens on campus.

A more in-depth discussion of the researchers' findings is available here on the Chronicle of Higher Education news blog. Noted by the blog item--and several of the readers who posted comments in response to it--is the tricky position that overwhelmingly white colleges find themselves in in producting such spots. Showing how few minority students are on their campus may indeed discourage minority students from applying, but if their ads exaggerate how much diversity is found on their campus they can be accused of dishonesty. Many minority students don't appreciate finding out after they enroll at a college that the place is not nearly as diverse as its recruitment materials led them to believe it would be.