University Of Arizona Convinces Police Officer To Take Social Justice Approach

April 30, 2023

By Corinne Murdock |

The University of Arizona Global Campus (UAGC) convinced a cop to take a social justice approach in his career, based on their online programming.

UAGC featured this police officer, Michael Ander, in an article praising his commitment to social justice. As UAGC noted, Ander was unfamiliar with the concept of social justice until he began taking university classes. UAGC initially described social justice as equality and fairness for all in their article, but then described equity-oriented implementation. 

Equity proposes disparate treatment in order to achieve purportedly equal outcomes, unlike equality which proposes equal treatment that may result in unequal outcomes. Ander echoed that difference when defining social justice.

“Social justice seeks to understand the why,” said Ander. “Why people don’t have the same opportunities and why some people need more humanity than others.”

As Britannica notes, “social justice” is comparative to an equity-oriented concept known as “distributive justice” — “the fair and equitable distribution of social, political, and economic benefits and burdens.”

Ander initially left community college in 2011 when he was accepted in the police academy. It wasn’t until recent years that he returned to finish his degree — not out of an unprompted desire to do so, but rather because he couldn’t advance any further in his career field without one. In order to rise above sergeant to become a lieutenant, Ander was required to obtain a bachelor’s degree. 

UAGC gave Ander a full-ride scholarship in partnership with his former community college, Rio Salado College.

Ander received an online degree in UAGC’s Social and Criminal Justice program. As part of the program, students review the application of select social justice principles — equality, solidarity, and human rights —  as well as apply knowledge of cultural sensitivity and diversity awareness to social and criminal justice.

One of the program chairs, Shari Schwartz, has tweeted in support of social justice policies such as gun control, Black Lives Matter, ending the death penalty, and allowing gender transitions for minors.

UAGC focuses heavily on expanding social justice perspectives. The university frequently hosts diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) events. 

Forbes interviewed the UAGC chair of Forbes School of Business & Technology, Misty Resendez, about how social justice ideologies such as DEI are necessary components of education and leadership.

“My goal, my aspiration is to help educate leaders so they don’t fall to that dark side of leadership and to be aware, right, to help develop that self-awareness, that purpose-driven value leadership,” said Resendez. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

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