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ERIC Number: EJ788992
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar-14
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
A University Examines Underlying Problems after Racist Incidents
Schmidt, Peter
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n27 pA18 Mar 2008
Oregon State University, a land-grant institution with an enrollment of almost 20,000, has been shaken by controversies over both blackface and a noose in the past year. The incidents here, however, were not seen as clear-cut expressions of racial animus, for which specific people should be held accountable, so much as acts of ignorance and insensitivity that pointed to a need for broader change. Oregon State is hardly the only college in the nation grappling with the problem of racism and weighing sharply different views of how to deal with it. For decades, campus racism has seemed to erupt into the public consciousness in cycles, usually after spates of incidents involving students' wearing blackface, parties with themes that mocked a minority group, or the publication of racially charged articles or cartoons in student newspapers. This article reports that administrators at Oregon State, unlike their peers at many colleges, have taken the view that it would be a mistake for them to focus their energy on responding to various racist incidents. To make lasting progress in diminishing racism, they say, campus leaders must focus on promoting diversity in a forward-looking manner, between the controversies that erupt. Last fall's events polarized the campus, but they also forced students to begin candid discussions of racism and to examine their own biases.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Oregon