The University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine recently conducted an internal review to look at the experience of minorities at the school. The review, conducted by a faculty committee, found that the school has a negative reputation when it comes to issues of race and ethnicity. Specifically, the committee reported that there is “a generalized perception that the climate is especially adverse to African Americans.”
According to a 7News Denver report, the committee found that there is “a recurring sentiment among alumni of color that students experience ‘routine, ongoing discrimination in the School, to the extent that potential applicants are being dissuaded from considering the School.”
A survey, conducted as part of the review, found that 24% of students reported witnessing other students making disparaging remarks or exhibiting hostile behavior toward minority groups; while 11% reported faculty members committing the same behavior. Meanwhile, 20% of survey respondents said the school had a sexist environment; and 12% said it was biased against certain sexual orientations.
The committee members recommended that the school take a number of steps immediately to address the report’s findings, including an increase in the number of students, faculty, and staff from underrepresented minority groups and a significant expansion of scholarships for these same groups. The committee’s report also recommended that the school develop and promote mechanisms by which students, faculty, and staff can report concerns related to mistreatment or discrimination, without fear of reprisal.