This 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.
At 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.