UCLA pays profs $1,000 each to teach anti-Trump workshops
- UCLA is paying at least eight professors $1,000 each to present workshops on the 2016 election, many of which have a decidedly anti-Trump perspective.
- Professors do not receive teaching credit for the seminars, so interim Dean of Social Sciences Laura Gomez seized upon the stipend as a way of incentivizing participation.
- Professor Reynaldo Macias, who served as Dean of Social Sciences after Obama’s election in 2008, acknowledged that no such workshops on opposing the Obama administration were offered at the time.
The University of California at Los Angeles has paid at least six professors up to $1,000 each to teach anti-Trump workshops during the Spring semester alone.
In addition, at least two similar workshops are already scheduled for the Winter semester, totaling 8 workshops altogether with $8,000 in taxpayer funds being doled out to their instructors.
While the workshops, sponsored by the “Dean’s fund for programs and teaching related to the 2016 presidential election,” purport to discuss “diverse viewpoints about the election and what it portends,” many seem to advocate for a decidedly anti-Trump agenda and none appear to offer a contrasting perspective.
One workshop, for instance, titled “Bullied by Trump’s Tweets? University Students on Edge,” will explore the reasons why “some students have come to feel increasingly marginalized and fearful during Trump’s presidency.”
“Who feels endangered by Trump’s tweets: people of color, under-served, undocumented, disabled, sexual minorities, older, working-class, and international students navigating changing regulations about personhood, citizenship, and border crossings?” a description for the workshop questions.
According to an advertisement for the workshops obtained by The Daily Bruin, the classes will investigate the “different aspects of [Trump’s] administration,” with one workshop called “Communications, Science, and Authoritarianism, Then and Now” examining the “role of communications and science in societies trending toward authoritarianism” and asking students to “track and analyze the new administration.”
There will also be workshop on "Whitelash or Working Class Revolt? Making Sense of [the] Rise of Trump and New Populism," which seeks to cultivate an understanding of the "rise of populism in [the] U.S. resulting in [the] rise of Trump [and] his popularity with white, working class men."
Notably, Professor Reynaldo Macias, who served as Dean of Social Sciences after Obama’s election in 2008, acknowledged when speaking with The Bruin that he did not offer any workshops at the time on opposing the Obama administration.
Now, however, Professor Laura Gomez, interim dean of social sciences, explained that she developed the aforementioned “dean’s fund” in order to persuade professors to participate, since they previously would not be compensated for teaching the seminar-style workshops as part of the Fiat Lux program, which was established in 2001 to facilitate discussions about topics that are not typically discussed in normal classes.
“Faculty don’t receive teaching credit for teaching Fiat Lux seminars,” explained political science professor Leslie Johns, noting that she hadn’t considered participating in the program until hearing about the financial incentive, but is now among the six professors administering seminars this semester.
Campus Reform reached out to the university for comment on the matter, but did not receive a response in time for publication.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski