Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Help Us Improve Diversity and Social Justice Education at UCSD

Dear UCSD community member:

Tomorrow (April 16), from 4:00pm to 5:45pm in Center Hall 212, the TMC administration will hold a "town hall" meeting to present the findings of the DOC curriculum committee review to the Thurgood Marshall faculty. As many of you know, the curriculum committee was appointed after numerous protests last spring against "the watering down" of the DOC curriculum, and the dismissal of two TAs for criticizing the direction of the program.

The committee assigned to review the DOC curriculum largely agreed with the LZC's own critique: that the curriculum has lost its cohesiveness and critical insight, that the university is in danger of abandoning diversity and social justice education at the lower-division level, and that the program needs to stop hiring poorly qualified adjunct faculty and instead recruit faculty who are experts in the fields of ethnic studies, critical race theory, gender and queer studies, American studies, third world studies, Black/Latino/a/Chicano/a/Asian-American studies.

The TMC administration and the University at large has made no motion to endorse its own report, and we are afraid that it will be "buried" as it did not say what the administration expected or wanted to hear. What we need now is for the TMC and University administration to hear that students, faculty, and staff care about lower-division education at UCSD, about diversity education, and about social justice on campus.

Please come to the meeting, bring questions, and invite your friends to come.

If you are professor, it doesn't matter if you are affiliated with TMC or not. Please attend so that you can listen to and comment on the committe's findings. Your input will be appreciated and it will show the university that our faculty members are concerned about the erosion of critical social justice education in this university.

Let's make sure that TMC's claims about its commitment to social justice are not merely a marketing tool or an empty promise to appease individuals who care about diversity in a post-Prop. 209 era.

It's time to press the University administration to show us that its commitment to diversity education is real.

See you there,


Saturday, March 8, 2008

TMC Curriculum Committee Report Vindicates LZC

Hello everyone,

As you may have heard, the curriculum review committee for the Dimensions of Culture Program has finally released its report, confirming what the LZC said all along: that DOC has failed in its capacity to provide critical, social justice and diversity education, and has failed to live up to its own heritage as a site of dissent within the University. The report also calls for structural changes in the way faculty are recruited to the program, and calls for a faculty (not administrative) head of the program (ie, someone who knows what s/he is doing).

Click HERE to download a copy of the report.

At the heart of this document is a simple question: is UCSD going to promote diversity and social justice education in a post-209 environment? As is to be expected, the administration is doing what it can to make sure the report is undermined, discredited, and eventually buried. We can't let that happen. Even the UCSD Guardian Staff is concerned that the DOC administration is ignoring the charge of the report (Click HERE to read the Guardian's editorial on this)

Please join us next Monday, March 10th at the Cross Cultural Center at 2:30pm (University Center 201, former Financial Aid/SBS office) to discuss what we can do to ensure this report is not only heard, but implemented. But to do this we need to get organized again. Let's make sure that the TMC administration has not heard the last of us, and that diversity education has a place at UCSD.

If you can't make the meeting, please urge the TMC and UCSD administration to follow through with the recommendations and implement the spirit of the report. They need to hear from students, faculty and anyone who is concerned about the future of diversity at UCSD!

Cut and paste this short message into an e-mail and send it to the people listed below:

I have read the report of the Thurgood Marshall College review committee and believe that the committee's recommendations and the spirit of the report should be implemented as soon as possible. It is clear that this report confirms the legitimacy of long-standing concerns about the direction of the DOC program, and I am worried that, once again, TMC administration will attempt to ignore widespread complaints. If the UCSD administration is truly committed to addressing issues of diversity and promoting quality education, it is clear that it must demonstrate this by taking action quickly in light of this report.

Abe Shragge, DOC Director:
Alan Havis, TMC Provost:
Paul Drake, UCSD Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs:
Marye Anne Fox, UCSD Chancellor:

Take a stand for diversity and quality education at UCSD!