Recent scholarly work indicates Black students in K-12 are significantly more likely to be suspended or expelled than their White peers. However, little empirical work exists in the post-secondary environment, raising questions about the discrimination Black students encounter in the university student conduct process. This study explored racial disparities in postsecondary student discipline through the use of vignettes randomly assigned to a national sample of student conduct administrators. Our vignettes asked administrators to recommend student conduct sanctions for individuals found responsible for marijuana violations. Vignettes differed only in the student name provided, and names were purposely selected to suggest a particular racial identity. We found no pattern of racial bias in sanction assignments given to Black students compared to White students, nor did we observe differences in the total number of sanctions assigned.
Do student conduct administrators discriminate against Black students? An analysis of drug sanctions using vignettes