WESTWOOD—On April 10, UCLA faculty voted by overwhelming majority to require future undergraduate students to fulfill a diversity requirement as part of their lower-division course load.
The Faculty Senate passed the proposed requirement by a vote of 916 to 487, a policy that affects incoming freshmen in the College of Letters and Science beginning in the fall 2015. Beginning in the fall 2017, junior-level transfer students must also fulfill the requirement.
Friday’s vote was necessitated by a petition to hold a faculty-wide voting. Three separate faculty panels had previously approved the requirement, but per campus rules, an appeal to poll the entire faculty was respected.
The principle argument against the requirement centers around adding what is perceived to be heaping an unnecessary course load on students that some believe to be culturally educated by the time they are of college age.
The requirement has been strongly endorsed by UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, who championed the idea as one that would adequately prepare students to succeed in our modern, globalized world.
“A diversity-focused course requirement has been a long-standing priority for me because of its clear value to our students, so I am very pleased with the campuswide faculty vote approving the proposal,” said Block in a statement. “I want to thank the many faculty members and students who have worked hard for several years to make the diversity requirement a reality.”