New symposium on college admissions news

Given the recent media coverage of affirmative action cases and scandals in relation to college admissions, specifically at selective colleges, I assisted with organizing and contributing to a symposium to explore the many issues behind the news stories about inequality in higher education at Contexts. Follow the link to the Varsity Blues and Lawsuits, Too Symposium.


Commentary on Black Social Movements in Higher Education

I had the opportunity to be part a recent series on The Black Radical Tradition of Resistance organized by Dominique Thomas of the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity. The commentary provides a look at how recent student demands for their institutions to address racism and inequality connect with black social movements of the past. The essay is available here.

Op-eds in October

I recently wrote or contributed to two op-eds in the past days.

First, I wrote a piece for the Washington Post on the continual resistance to race-conscious admissions policies by whites and the reasons for their opposition to such policies: Most White Americans Will Never Experience Affirmative Action. So Why Do They Hate It So Much?

Second, I contributed to a discussion of how the stereotypes of who fights hunger and food insecurity on college campuses and in communities can limit support for policies to address these issues. This op-ed was published at the London School of Economics US Centre’s politics and policy blog: Stereotypes About Poverty and Fighting Food Insecurity

Recent higher ed commentary

I recently wrote two essays focusing on higher education inequalities in STEM and in faculty evaluations.

  • As part of the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) collaborative series with the American Council on Education (ACE) focusing on the campus climate and STEM education, I contributed a post about the importance of social interactions for understanding campus climates and STEM disparities: ACE Higher Education Today post.
  • Given the continuing debate about biases in faculty evaluations, I wrote an essay about how to begin confronting these biases and the use of student evaluations of teaching for Inside Higher Education: From Potential Bias to Action.

Two Upcoming Author Meets Critic Sessions

My first volume, Poison in the Ivy, will be discussed by two great panels of scholars at conferences early this year. The first panel will convene at the annual meeting of the Eastern Sociological Society in Baltimore on Friday, February 23 at 8:30am. The second panel will occur at the annual meeting of the Southern Sociological Society in New Orleans on Saturday, April 7 at 2:45pm.

For more information on both the ESS and SSS meetings, please click the following links:

Eastern Sociological Society meeting information
Southern Sociological Society meeting information

Forthcoming book explores elite colleges, their students, and the reproduction of racial inequality

byrdComps.inddI’m happy to announce that my book, Poison in the Ivy: Race Relations and the Reproduction of Inequality on Elite College Campuses will appear in print this fall from Rutgers University Press. In this volume, I examine the impact of diverse social interactions on the beliefs about race and inequality among college students at 28 of the most selective colleges and universities in the United States. I discuss what these students think about race and inequality, how their social interactions such as friendships, romantic relationships, roommate situations, and the student organizations they participate in influence their racial ideologies, and I emphasize how elite colleges and universities play an integral role in shaping both ideologies and interactions among these students. An important takeaway from this volume is how college students in these elite social worlds can develop their views of race and inequality that can impact broader society given their privileged positions to acquire resources and opportunities including top employment and leadership prospects upon graduation. Click the following link for more information about this volume: Poison in the Ivy.