Under fire from faculty, the University of Oregon is rethinking a proposed diversity plan that called for all faculty to demonstrate their “commitment to cultural competency” in tenure and post-tenure reviews. UO President Dave Frohnmayer admitted the draft didn’t define its terms. He gave it a shot, reports the Eugene Register-Guard.
Cultural competency, Frohnmayer said, is a straightforward concept.
“To me it means that we are able to effectively reach all of the students who have demonstrated their competence to be in the university but for whom, because of cultural background, traditional techniques of teaching may not be as effective as others,” he said.
Clear as mud. Except that Frohnmayer never explains what kind of teaching is effective for competent white students but ineffective for competent Latino, black or Asian-American students.
Frohnmayer criticized bloggers for criticizing UO’s plan.
“People can engage in stereotypical thinking if they want, and that is one of the really ugly downsides of the blog-verse,” he said, referring to the world of online Web logs. “I guess to that group of people I’d say, what is it you don’t understand about the word ‘draft?’
Isn’t the time to criticize when the proposal is in the draft stage? Isn’t it intellectually dishonest to stereotype critics as too stupid to think straight? In fact, UO professors were outraged too, calling the proposal “Orwellian.” Frohnmayer went on:
“The minute you get in the business of censoring people who have serious ideas that want them discussed seriously even if you don’t agree with them, the minute you can’t do that at a university without someone engaging in character assassination and stereotyping, it’s a pretty sad day.”
How does a blogger “censor” a university official or anyone else?
Here’s my June 1 post with lots o’ links.
Update: Professor Plum rants about U. Oregoon on EducatioNation. And the man knows how to rant.