Among the studies, all published in the spring issue of New Directions for Institutional Research:
- An analysis of University of California student survey data that concludes that students' choice of academic major plays a greater role than their race in determining how much discrimination they perceive on campus. Moreover, having large numbers of racially and culturally sensitive students might paradoxically cause a campus's reputation for tolerance to suffer, because such students are more likely to perceive and report bigotry around them.
- Another study, unusual in that it focuses on a campus where white students are outnumbered, concluded that high minority enrollments do not necessarily lead to increased perceptions of tolerance. At the public university that the study focused on, the share of all students on the campus who reported occasionally or frequently witnessing one or more forms of insensitive behavior rose as the institution became more diverse, with the increase being driven partly by increases in both the number of minority students responding to the survey and in the share of minority students reporting such behavior.
- A third study, examining the educational progress of freshmen at several institutions, concludes that first-generation college students experience some events on the campus differently than do other students. For example, they appear not to reap the same educational gains from out-of-classroom interactions with faculty members as do their peers with at least one college-educated parent, perhaps because the first-generation students may be somewhat rattled and put off by such interactions, which leave their peers feeling more intellectually engaged, the Chronicle article says.