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UCLA Faculty Votes For Mandatory Diversity Classes

A last-ditch effort to stop a requirement that all students at the University of California, Los Angeles fulfill a “diversity” requirement has gone down in flames, according to Inside Higher Ed.

The professors at UCLA (the school’s main undergraduate division) voted last fall by a narrow 323-303 margin to endorse the creation of a diversity requirement that will be implemented in the fall of 2017. Opponents, however, launched a successful petition effort that forced the measure to go up for another vote, this time with every branch of UCLA’s faculty getting the chance to weigh in. Petitioners hoped the university’s professional schools and emeritus professors (who could also vote) would be enough to tip the scales and cause the diversity requirement to lose.

Instead, the tactic backfired spectacularly. When the results were announced Friday night, the diversity requirement won decisively, 916-487. Now, instead of suggesting even California university professors might have issues with expanding the diversity agenda, it appears that support for such interventions is as strong as ever.

Under the requirement, every UCLA undergraduate will have to get a C or better in one course that “substantially addresses racial, ethnic, gender, socioeconomic, sexual orientation, religious or other types of diversity.”

UCLA is already one of the country’s most diverse campuses with 34.8 percent being Asian, 27.8 percent white, 18 percent Hispanic and 3.8 percent black (11.8 percent are international students whose race is not logged).

Critics of the new requirement have argued that since 90 percent of UCLA fits into at least one kind of “diversity identity group,” students could easily fulfill the diversity requirement by taking courses about their own group, encouraging ghettoization of different groups. More practically, they have also argued it could increase the time it takes students to graduate, possibly saddling students with more debt or even causing some to fail to graduate entirely. They’ve also pointed out that there is little evidence of a beneficial effect from diversity coursework.

“No controlled studies showing a causative effect of diversity curriculum on self-reported student attitudes are reported,” reads the summary position of those opposing the new diversity requirement.

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