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Cornell University’s Faculty Senate will vote this week on a slate of “anti-racism” proposals, including whether to mandate an educational requirement on “racism, bias and equity” for students and faculty.
The group will vote on a set of six resolutions, which come after university president Martha Pollack tasked the Faculty Senate with developing plans for the creation and implementation of such a requirement in July 2020.
Three resolutions focus on anti-racism teachings for students. One is an endorses a proposal that lays out plans for a for-credit educational requirement as “worthy of consideration” by the administration and says that faculty must be consulted before any decision is made to implement the group’s recommendation.
Another would be an endorsement from faculty for requiring that all students complete at least one for-credit course that addresses race and bias. A third proposes one or more courses on “racism, colonialism, antiracism, and decolonization” to fulfill the requirement be co-taught by faculty members representing each of six departments/programs: Africana Studies, American Studies, American Indian and Indigenous Studies, Asian American Studies, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Latinx Studies.
Meanwhile, a faculty working group has proposed creating educational programs for faculty to learn about “structural racism, colonialism and injustice,” claiming that such an understanding is “an essential part of the job.” It recommends that a core educational requirement be implemented for faculty for 1.5 to 2 hours per semester along with additional training that could be delivered during regular departmental meetings.
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