Augsburg College sociology professor Tim Pippert tells National Public Radio how colleges and universities try to shape how prospective students see diversity on their campuses.
More specifically, in 2011 he and his research team — which included students Laura Essenburg (see video above) and Edward Jay Matchett — found that the whiter the school, the more its brochures showed diversity:
“Diversity is something that’s being marketed. They’re trying to sell a campus climate, they’re trying to sell a future. Campuses are trying to say, ‘If you come here, you’ll have a good time, and you’ll fit in.’ “
The extreme step that the University of Wisconsin once took: It Photoshopped the face of a black student into a football-game photo that adorned the cover of its admissions booklet — even though the student had never attended it.