Humboldt Journal of Social Relations


Using primary data from a Midwestern university, this study examines racial attitudes of white faculty members. Contact theory is used to understand the variation in the number of racial minority students that white faculty members advise, independent of individual characteristics and social organizational factors. Findings indicate that white faculty members rate Asian/Asian American college students most favorably overall. In general, faculty then ranked white, African American, Latino, and Native American college students in descending order with respect to a host of characteristics. Finally, supporting contact theory, white faculty members who went to high schools with more racial minorities and who work with more colleagues who are racial minorities are significantly more likely to advise racial minority students. One implication of these outcomes is that greater interracial contact between white faculty members and racial minority colleagues and students is likely to have a positive impact on campus climate race relations.

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