Does the College Recruitment Brochure Depict Diversity Dreams or Realities?

The Takeaway

The Supreme Court is currently hearing arguments regarding affirmative action and diversity in higher education.  That got us to thinking about a variety of topics related to college diversity, from personal stories to the most innocuous of all higher education materials: the university recruitment brochure. Most of us have seen those brochures, featuring four to seven kids of various skin tones on the cover. But what goes into making them? Are the kids real, or just models? And is the diversity depicted in them reflective of a college's reality or a college's dream reality? Montica Willmschen spends a lot of time pondering these questions. She's the director of Institutional Marketing at the University of Wyoming. Her award-winning marketing team is responsible for everything from the university's web designs to print publications. "When UW speaks of diversity, we are not just thinking of race and color," she says. They consider many other angles, such as sexuality, and gender - women in sciences, math and technology, for instance - military veterans, and other groups that might be underrepresented at some colleges. "To the eye, someone that may be looking at a brochure, may not immediately recognize all of those areas that we're covering."