EMU to require ‘black studies’ course in ALL majors

Eastern Michigan University is in the process of implementing a “Black Student 10-Point Plan” that would require faculty to build “a course on Black studies” into “the curriculum of every major.”

A Saturday press release on the matter notes that “black student leaders are working closely with faculty administrators to explore curricular options to further this goal,” acknowledging that “there are well-understood challenges in attempting to incorporate black studies into every major.”

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The release, though, confirms that while “it may be difficult to incorporate black studies into certain natural science majors,” for example, the university will be prepared to tackle the challenge, noting that “doing so across all majors will require revisions to many courses.”

Additionally, the “10-point plan” would require all students to complete a “general course on race, ethnicity, and racism” in addition to the black studies course already built into their majors, which, according to the release, would expose students to “issues related to bias and privilege.”

Meanwhile, all “faculty and staff” will be required to undergo a “mandatory cultural competency training” that will address “bias awareness,” a plan the school hopes to implement “in the coming months.”

The Michigan school will also launch “search committees” starting immediately in an effort to make the “percentage of black faculty equal to that of black students at EMU,” a component of the plan that the school has already had relative success with as “13 percent of new faculty hired for Fall 2016 self-identify as black,” which, the press release suggests, “is an excellent placement rate that exceeds the nationwide populations and exceeds the available pool of black faculty in virtually every academic discipline.”

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According to the release, “black student leadership from Student Government” have been meeting frequently with the school’s top officials to discuss the progress of the plan, which is already a year in the works.

EMU Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Calvin Phillips explained that “senior staff of the university meet regularly with black student leadership,” including a Tuesday meeting where they discussed the progress of the ten-point plan.

“These and other student leaders continue to receive multiple updates regarding campus initiatives and we continue to work together to keep everyone informed,” he concluded.

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