Study: Political Orientation Most Common Cause of Discrimination at U. of Michigan

A new report from the University of Michigan (U-M) found that political orientation was the most common cause of discrimination amongst U-M students last year.

Twenty-one percent of students said they had experienced one or more incidents of discrimination due to their political leanings, edging out those who cited either gender or race, according to the 2016 climate survey on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), released Thursday.

Fewer than half of all students reported having frequent and meaningful interactions with people who hold political opinions different from their own, though undergraduates were more likely than graduate students to have had such experience, with only 38.3 percent of the latter answering in the affirmative.

Female students and faculty were both less likely than their male counterparts to engage with those holding political views unlike their own.

A notable discrepancy was also apparent among tenured and non-tenured faculty on this issue: Only 31 percent of tenure track faculty reported they often interacted with people not of their political ideology, while about half of non-tenure track do so.

In contrast, about a third of staff did not say they often connected with those who don?t share their political outlook.

Eleven percent of staff reported at least one politics-based discriminatory event.

Sex was the leading cause of discrimination amongst staff and faculty, according to the report.

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