By Corinne Murdock |
Northern Arizona University (NAU) students will have to take a 12-credit general studies program focused on diversity. Following initial reports on their plans, NAU hid the DCCC page behind a university login page. (Archived link here). In doing so, they also blocked access to links leading to the DCCC meeting dates, agendas, and minutes; diversity requirements; how individuals could propose a “Diversity Designation” course; and an outline of their curriculum creation and review processes.
The Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) approved NAU’s new diversity program last October.
It appears that NAU shielded the DCCC website from the public eye after City Journal reported about the new diversity curriculum. A web cache of the page taken on May 14 allows individuals to see the DCCC website, not an NAU login page. City Journal issued their report on May 24, offering an in-depth assessment on how NAU’s aim for the program was to only include critical theory’s definition of diversity.
NAU also removed DCCC’s notes (archived here) from last September that acknowledged how the level of ambition the undertaking demands. Yet, the DCCC projected that it would cause NAU to take the lead on their competition.
“The 12 credits of diversity requirements are unprecedented and puts [sic] NAU at the forefront of higher education,” read the notes.
The initiative is the latest from the Diversity Curriculum Committee (DCC) formed by NAU’s Faculty Senate. The committee declared in their proposal that NAU is lacking in diversity requirements. (Archived link here).
The DCC explained that students will be required to take three credits in each of the following areas: U.S. Ethnic Diversity, Global Diversity, Indigenous Peoples, and Intersectionality. Within those areas, there will be focuses catered to the arts and humanities, scientific literacy and methods, and social and political worlds.
More won’t just be required of the students; the DCC proposed that NAU hire a director for the new diversity program; increase hires in Ethnic Studies, Applied Indigenous Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies; establish retention mechanisms for faculty engaged in “diversity objectives;” create a faculty learning community focused on diversity; create a faculty professional development program on diversity curriculum; hire a Chief Diversity Officer; ensure course releases or other compensation for female and minority faculty; require faculty to engage in more diversity work and challenges; and establish a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program within each college in NAU.
NAU plans to initiate a soft launch of their revamped diversity program this fall, with a full launch in fall 2023.