Sunday, June 10, 2012

UCLA Rejects Victims Studies

A rare moment of lucidity from the academy.
Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but I think something remarkable occurred at UCLA last week.   By a vote of 56%-44%—almost double the margin of Scott Walker’s recent recall-election victory—the UCLA faculty rejected a proposed “Community and Conflict in the Modern World” general-education requirement.  

The proposal would have required each UCLA student to take a class that examines “community and conflict.”  Although the proposal did not precisely define “community and conflict,” it listed a set of sample courses that would satisfy the requirement.   Approximately half of those courses were taught by one of the “studies” departments—e.g. African American Studies, Chicano Studies, Asian American Studies, Labor and Workplace Studies, American Indian Studies, etc.  Almost all of the remaining half would naturally fit in one of the “studies” departments. 

I was shocked by the vote.  I’d estimate that out of approximately 4,000 faculty members at UCLA, only about 40 have right-of-center political views.  And of those 40, approximately three-quarters aren’t true conservatives—instead they’re libertarians or right-leaning moderates.  I know of only five UCLA professors who at least occasionally call themselves conservative, consistently vote for Republicans, and are willing to admit that publicly.

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