The University of Memphis wants select professors to redesign their curricula to teach with the tenets of "diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice," according to The Washington Free Beacon.
Chosen faculty members will be given a $3,000 grant to work on the program from the spring of 2022 to the spring semester of 2023. They will be asked to attend "extensive pedagogical and theoretical training and workshop experiences" alongside their curricula redesign.
Interested faculty at the university are being asked to provide a copy of syllabi to be reworked as well as a 500-word "narrative" on their "diversity, equity, and inclusion philosophy" and how the new lessons will "address disparities" in their subject area, the Free Beacon reported.
The University of Memphis’ website page on promoting social justice states a "need for faculty, staff, and students to become more culturally competent and knowledgeable about all races and cultures in a world made increasingly smaller by globalization."
The university’s goal is to make social justice-inspired curriculum available to all students, not just students who opt-in to certain classes on the topic.
The grant is part of the university’s "Eradicating Systemic Racism and Promoting Social Justice Initiative." Other programs in the initiative include "Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining Tenured and Tenure-Track African American Faculty and Other Faculty of Color," "Training for Faculty, Staff, and Students-Cultural Competence," and "Contracting with Minority Businesses."
The stipend offer from a public university has some faculty and lawmakers concerned over the proper use of taxpayer money.
One professor at the university said: "I'm not sure how changing an accounting, nursing, or engineering course to align with social justice principles helps students. When faculty are underpaid in the first place, it's hard to blame them for taking this money. But it creates an incentive for a nonpartisan instructor to turn their students into activists for a few extra dollars."
Tennessee GOP Rep. Tim Burchett said to the Washington Free Beacon: "Leadership at the University of Memphis should be ashamed for bribing professors to advance this useless teaching. Students are better prepared for professional careers if they learn the three R’s — reading, writing, and arithmetic — instead of woke activism."
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