The University of Memphis has announced that faculty members can get an extra $3,000 if they are “woke” and teach that way.
An announcement by the school explains it wants to be “Infusing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice into Existing Courts/Curriculum” and to that end it is offering grants for professors to “redesign existing courses housed within their departments to better advance the tenets and charge of the university’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice.”
The Free Beacon explained that interested faculty are told to “submit a copy of syllabi to be reworked as well as a 500-word ‘narrative’ on their ‘diversity, equity, and inclusions philosophy’ and how the new lessons will ‘address disparities’ in their subject area.”
It’s part “of a growing trend on college campuses, where the overt promotion of social justice has become the new norm,” the report explained, citing Kenyon College in Ohio, where professors’ tenure now is dependent on their ability to demonstrate how they promote “an inclusive classroom environment that values diversity.”
One professor who commented anonymous was quoted by the Free Beacon expressing concern about the move, given the school’s financial situation.
“We’ve had a hard time retaining good faculty at our salary levels, so anytime you see money being spent on non-student or non-faculty causes, it makes you scratch your head,” the professor explained. “Could this money be spent on students or retaining quality faculty rather than a progressive agenda that isn’t likely supported by the taxpayers or voters of Tennessee?”
His comments continued, “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.”
There was no comment from the school to the Free Beacon, but the report said Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., condemned the social activism.
“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.”
The tax-supported school did confirm online that winners of the grants will be “course design ambassadors” for their departments.
The school managers want the new instructions implemented by fall.
Those who want the cash are told to explain to school officials how they approach diversity, equity and inclusion in their teaching and how they want to “redesign” the courses they teach to address the social agenda.
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