Diversity Course Requirement at UCLA Faces Another Hurdle

uclaThis past October, the members of the faculty of the College and Letters and Science at the University of California, Los Angeles, narrowly approved a measure by a vote of 332-303 that called for every undergraduate student to complete a course that is focused on diversity. The proposal called for each undergraduate to complete a course that substantially addresses racial, ethnic, gender, socioeconomic, sexual orientation, religious, or other types of diversity. Students would be required to pass the course with a grade of C or better in order to fulfill the requirement.

BelindaTuckerAt that time, M. Belinda Tucker, vice provost for the Institute of American Culture and co-chair of the College Diversity Initiative Committee at UCLA, stated that “for students to function and thrive in today’s global society, these skills must be considered a core competency. There’s overwhelming evidence that taking at least one course focusing on diversity issues contributes positively to the individual development of students and campus climate.”

But now a group of 59 faculty members who are not in favor of the diversity requirement have filed a petition that will result in the entire 3,600-member UCLA faculty voting on the measure, not just those faculty members from the College of Letters and Science. Opponents of the measure contend that about 60 percent of the total faculty oppose the diversity requirement.

 

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Comments (3)

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  1. M. Rick Turner says:

    It will be shameful if the faculty vote against such an important intiative

  2. Michael says:

    The fact still remains in 2014, the majority of non-native born Blacks (Whites, Latinos, and particularly Asians[e.g., Chinese, Japanese, etc.]) faculty, staff, and UCLA administrators’ shudder the notion in learning about the intellectual, political, educational, and sociological contributions native-born Blacks made in the creation of this country called the Estados Unidos. Based upon the 59 intellectually insecure faculty members(I wonder what racial/ethnic group they hail from?) who voted against this initiative, is a classic example of the “tyranny of the majority” within the boundaries of the democratic process. It’s quite obvious the position held by Mrs. Tucker has not sort administrative teeth and merely created to placate the Black stakeholders on the surface level.

    Let’s keep in mind, UCLA is the same institution that treated a top neck and head surgeon(Dr. Christian Head) disparately for approximately before settling out of court. More important, UCLA student population is majority White Asians students who have been socialized both here and abroad that learning about Blacks in America is not a top priority. What is most intriguing about UCLA, those same White faculty who vehemently oppose the mandatory course, will spend countless hours watching Black men and women running up and down the UCLA gridiron or Pauley Pavilion.

    • M. Belinda Tucker says:

      Please note that when placed before the entire UCLA faculty (not just those in the College where 85% of our undergraduates are enrolled), the vote FOR the diversity requirement on April 10, 2015, was overwhelmingly positive: 916 – 487. Despite the concerted efforts of a very active and vocal minority to derail the effort, those who understood the tremendous need for such courses (even more so today) ultimately prevailed. It was, indeed, a tough campaign (especially given the fact that UCLA faculty had turned down such a curricular change 3 times over several decades), but the overwhelming support even in some unlikely quarters was gratifying. When the measure was brought before the Legislative Assembly (the faculty legislative body), only three speakers lined up to speak against the proposed requirement, while the line of speakers in favor snaked around the room and went out the door.

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