The College Post
The College Post -- Covering Higher Education in America

Syracuse Faculty Calls for Campus-Wide Diversity Course

Syracuse University faculty members are demanding from the administration to create an extensive liberal arts core curriculum to address the issues of differences and diversity.

Last week, around 148 faculty members signed a statement expressing anguish over the recent incidents of racism and anti-Semitism on campus and backed the nurturing, strengthening, and expanding of faculty in the humanities, arts, and social sciences to support the liberal arts core curriculum.

“We believe that our obligation to teach our students to think critically and constructively about the complexities of human difference can be best addressed through an extensive liberal arts core curriculum attuned to issues of difference and diversity and required university-wide for all undergraduates,” the letter reads.

Last month, the university community was stunned by a series of racist incidents on campus. The first incident of racism was reported on November 7 at the Day Hall, a student dormitory, where inappropriate graffiti targeting African-American and Asian communities were found followed by a derogatory graffiti in the physics building bathroom directed toward the Asian community.

Another graffiti of a swastika was reported at the Haven Hall and a student was found yelling “a racial epithet that is derogatory to African Americans.”

Faculty members raised concerns over the cluster hires saying that such a strategy takes away resources from the humanities, arts, and social sciences, as well as from efforts to build faculty diversity.

The letter also expressed reservations over the Responsibility-Centered Management (RCM) funding model, which encourages the various schools to compete with one another for students.

“(It) impedes a university-wide commitment to a liberal arts core curriculum,” the letter says.

Meanwhile, the university has also promised to redouble its efforts to recruit and retain faculty and students from underrepresented communities.

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