Photo Credit: University of Memphis website
The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
The University of Memphis is offering a $3000 incentive to professors who incorporate teachings on critical race theory in their courses.
According to a faculty-wide email, professors can earn $1500 after they modify their curricula and another $1500 after going through with teaching the course. The emails say that 15-20 professors will be chosen to pilot the program for the Spring 2022 semester with the new courses beginning in the fall semester.
The university’s “Eradicating Systemic Racism and Promoting Social Justice Initiative” is overseeing the program. The initiative was created as part of the University’s attempt to provide “diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.”
Faculty members who are interested in participating must submit a new syllabus for their course along with a 500-word narrative that explains their “diversity, equity, and inclusion philosophy.” They must also provide rationale for how their new lessons will “address disparities” in their particular content areas. They have until January 28 to do so.
Critics are concerned that this is a misuse of taxpayer money at a public university.
One faculty member, who asked to remain anonymous, says it is already difficult for the university to keep faculty members due to the level of pay, so he questions funneling money into something of this nature.
“We’ve had a hard time retaining good faculty at our salary levels, so anytime you see money being spent on non-student or non-faculty causes, it makes you scratch your head,” the professor stated. “Could this money be spent on students or retaining quality faculty rather than progressive agenda that isn’t likely supported by the taxpayers or voters of Tennessee?”
The professor is also concerned that this new push will cause courses to become political in nature when they should not be.
“I’m not sure how changing an accounting, nursing, or engineering course to align with social justice principles helps students,” he said. “When faculty are underpaid in the first place, it’s hard to blame them for taking this money. But it creates an incentive for a nonpartisan instructor to turn their students into activists for a few extra dollars.”
U.S. Representative Tim Burchett says that University of Memphis administration should be “ashamed” of attempting to utilize taxpayer funding to coerce professors into “useless teaching.”
“Leadership at the University of Memphis should be ashamed for bribing professors to advance this useless teaching,” Burchett said. “Students are better prepared for professional careers if they learn the three R’s – reading, writing, and arithmetic – instead of woke activism.”
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The professor who spoke with the Free Beacon believes that there are much better uses for that money.
“I think the taxpayers of Tennessee should be aware that the administration is prioritizing spending money on systemic racism above retaining faculty, staff, cost-cutting, or lowering tuition,” he said.
University of Memphis is not the first school to attempt to infiltrate courses with “anti-racist” ideas. This is an agenda that is growing in popularity on college campuses across the country.
About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Directory for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com