Academic Senate OKs Campuswide Diversity Requirement
Paul K. Mueller | March 7, 2011
UC San Diego’s Academic Senate voted on Tuesday to approve a proposed amendment to Senate Regulation 600 that will establish a campuswide diversity requirement for graduation. “A knowledge of diversity, equity, and inclusion is required of all candidates for a bachelor’s degree who begin their studies at UC San Diego in lower-division standing in Fall 2011 or thereafter, or in upper-division standing in Fall 2013 or thereafter,” says the wording in the proposed course-catalog text.
The proposal for a Requirement in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion was put forth by the Senior Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on a College Diversity Requirement, and was reviewed and approved by the senate’s Committee on Educational Policy before the senate was asked to vote. Despite some “mischievous” objections during discussion—some participants affecting to misunderstand the term “diversity”—the proposal passed overwhelmingly, with two opposed and two abstaining.
Implementation of the requirement will be organized under three “governing categories:” frameworks, subject matter, and pedagogy—broad guidelines for courses that will fulfill the requirement. Possible frameworks would be race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexuality, language, ability/disability, class or age. Subject matters would focus on African Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, Chicanos, Latinos, Native Americans, or other groups. Pedagogy for the courses—the method of teaching—will encourage a comparative approach to “a student’s understanding of her or his identity.”
The Academic Senate also agreed to create an Undergraduate Council to join the existing Graduate Council; to have the chairs of both those groups represented on the Committee on Education Policy; and to re-name that committee the Educational Policy Committee. As part of approving those changes, the senate also agreed to amend numerous bylaws and regulations to include mention of the new Undergraduate Council and the re-named Educational Policy Committee.
The Graduate Council asked for, and received, approval to disestablish (discontinue) several programs in response to budgetary pressures: a terminal master of arts in comparative literature, and courses in French, German, Spanish and English literatures that have seen very sparse enrollments. A master of engineering degree in electrical and computer engineering was also disestablished due to "decreased enrollments and recent re-establishment of admission to the Master of Science program."
The faculty of Eleanor Roosevelt College requested, and were granted, permission to revise academic requirements—again for budgetary reasons. The college’s Making of the Modern World (MMW) Program will be reduced from a six-quarter sequence to a five-quarter sequence, and will go from 28 units to 24. Senate Regulation 625 will be revised to reflect those changes.
Prior to that formal senate business, Stanley Opella, chair of the Committee on Campus and Community Environment, presented an update on campus planning for the light-rail transit system that will connect campus to San Diego’s trolley system. He invited the campus community to follow developments and offer commentary at http://trolley.ucsd.edu
Chair Frank L. Powell opened the session with an overview of ongoing budgetary talks among the campuses and the UC Office of the President, and noted that the campuses are looking for alternatives to current distributions of funds—both to and from UCOP—to keep more of their money on campus and to have other funds distributed more equitably.
The next meeting of the Academic Senate will be held at 3:30 p.m. April 26 in the Leichtag Building conference room. Find minutes of the meetings, and other Academic Senate reports and documentation, here.