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I protest the motion to change the Undergraduate Curricular requirements at UT Austin. I object specifically to the provisions

Global Cultures
Requirement: 1 flagged course

To satisfy the Global Cultures flag, at least one-third of the course grade must be based on content dealing with the cultures and perspectives of a non-U.S. community, country, or coherent regional grouping of countries, past or present.

Cultural Diversity in the United States
Requirement: 1 flagged course

To satisfy the Cultural Diversity in the United States flag, at least one-third of the course grade must be based on content dealing with the culture, perspectives, and history of one or more underrepresented cultural groups in the United States.

I believe that the course grade should depend on at least 2/3 to 3/4 of the material the course purports to teach!


Dear faculty council,

Please allow this email to respectfully serve as a formal protest regarding the curriculum reforms that were approved by the faculty November 30, 2006.

Personally and professionally, I would like to see more emphasis placed on Global Cultures and Cultural Diversity than is currently proposed. The current proposal allows for broad, superficial strokes of a topic that requires a deeper level committment and understanding on the part of the student (and professor) in order to do it justice. While I know there was no deliberate attempt in this vein, the current proposal comes across as fulfilling a requirement rather than encouraging exploration and deep understanding. I am concerned that if the faculty and university takes this stance, it will trickle down to the students' morale around this issue.

One may argue that students who's majors are more impacted by diversity issues will ultimately take more courses in these areas...problem solved. But I am hard pressed to think of a major where an understanding of diversity is not paramount. Business? Nursing? Education? Engineering? Economics? History? And as our country becomes more diverse and globalization becomes more a part of the international stance, a deeper understanding of these that challenges students emotionally, not just academically, will put our students far and ahead of other flagship universities that continue to placate the issue.

I want to add that I am not a member of an ethnic or racial minority group. Other than being female, I do not fall into a "minority" status in anyway, yet I am deeply concerned about the issue of diversity and the extent to which we promote not only tolerance, but acceptance on the UT campus, both in our policies and in our curricula. I respectfully thank you for listening to my concerns and hope you will call on me if I may serve in a service capacity towards this end. I also greatly appreciate the committees' efforts to address the diversity issue in the current draft. It certainly represents a step in the right direction.


  Updated 2013 October 18
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