Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Regents of the University of Colorado reject resolution blocking race, gender considerations in decisions

A motion that would have barred the University of Colorado from considering race, ethnicity and gender in its decision-making was rejected by the regent Friday 6-3

“I’m not opposed to the important race theory being taught on college campuses as part of the larger curriculum and debate,” said Republican Regent Heidi Ganahal, the resolution’s sponsor. “However, I do not believe that the CRT should be a guiding principle in any of our recruitment, training and administrative policies.”

CU Interim President Todd Saliman and CU-Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano said academic freedom and non-discrimination are already part of Regent’s laws and policies.

“What I am proposing will protect our teachers and students from discrimination for any reason,” Ganahal, who is running for governor, told the Denver Post. Describing himself as a “defender of freedom of thought,” Ganahal said, “We need to teach our CU students how to think and what not to think.” It said its measures would prevent “discriminatory policies”, a “free exchange of ideas and the prohibition of certain compulsory training”.

The resolution would have prohibited factoring in race, ethnicity and gender in hiring faculty and staff, running school programs, and evaluating students, faculty and staff.

Critical race theory is an academic concept used to understand the effects of slavery and racism in the United States. It treats racism as something embedded in legal systems and policies.

At a Regents Committee meeting last month, CU academic leaders presented a summary of “Diversity Equality and Inclusion Education” and “Teaching Critical Race Theory” on the CU Boulder campus.

That’s when Ganahal proposed for the first time and sought support for his proposal.

The measure claims that there is “evidence that mandated diversity and audience training can lead to a hostile work environment” which has led to lawsuits against universities and reputational damages.

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It would prohibit CU employees from applying any “discriminatory and prejudicial approach”, including: the belief that one race or gender is superior; that anyone is “inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unintentionally”; that any person on the basis of race, ethnicity or gender takes responsibility for actions done in the past by others of that race, ethnicity or gender; that anyone should be made to experience discomfort, guilt, pain, or other distress because of race, ethnicity, or gender; That “merit or other positive traits such as hard work, patriotism and religious morality” were made “to oppress members of another caste”.

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