The core curriculum has been a mainstay of higher education since the beginning of Western civilization. The idea, a noble one, is that graduates of colleges and universities should have a broad education in every aspect of life including science, history, writing, language, and the arts.
But under the leadership of the totalitarian left and the willful ignorance of the Texas Legislature, the University of Texas at Austin has been using the core curriculum as a weapon to not only indoctrinate students of every academic discipline but also extend the time they spend at UT.
UT has a two-pronged set of required courses for all students. The first is a traditional core curriculum that requires staples such as English composition, humanities, American & Texas government, mathematics, science, and more.
Although innocent on its face, the social justice bureaucracy has managed to pervert even something as simple as the mathematics core requirement.
Though most of the courses that fulfill this requirement are actual math classes, students can also fulfill this credit by taking a sociology or philosophy class — or, in this case, even an African and African Diaspora Studies class. The class, called “Numbering Race,” teaches statistics using far-left social science as its subject of study. Academic core requirements must be approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
The second set of required courses is a new set of “flags” that every student must fulfill, including writing, quantitative reasoning, independent inquiry, and more subjective categories such as ethics and leadership, global cultures, and cultural diversity in the United States. These flags were never approved by the State Legislature, unlike the academic core mentioned earlier, and lead to longer graduation times for all students.
Anyone familiar with the political leftism that has infested academia will recognize the terms “global cultures” and “cultural diversity” to be dog whistles for far-left social justice ideology. For instance, the most blatant of these categories is “Cultural Diversity in the United States,” where the vast majority of the classes offered are the product of far-left intersectional social justice ideology. Examples of these classes include “Race/Capitalism/Environment,” “Screening Race,” “Chicana Feminisms,” “Latinx Sexualities,” “Gender and the News,” and “Queer Art and Activism.”
Courses at UT aren’t restricted to having only one flag, though; some courses carry two or even three of these graduation requirements. UT’s rules on double-dipping on these flags are minimal, with the exception that when a course has both a Global Cultures and Cultural Diversity flag, you have to choose which to redeem.
Still, the presence of both of these flags on certain classes makes them more useful to students looking to simply finish their core requirements in an efficient and flexible manner, making the intersection of these flags important. Only 10 courses fulfill both a Global Cultures and Cultural Diversity flag; with the exception of a class on Japanese anime, all of these courses are clearly products of far-left attitudes on race and gender, including classes like “Black Queer Art Worlds” and “African-American English.”
But the clearest example of this systemic leftist bias in core requirements is the list of courses available to all undergrads that carry the Global Cultures, Cultural Diversity, and Ethics and Leadership flags. The list consists of only one course — Introduction to Black Studies — taught by none other than UT’s Vice Provost for Diversity, Dr. Ted Gordon. And this isn’t a happy accident of the system. Rather, this course is advertised as a way for students to fulfill as many flags as possible.
Other three-flag combinations are similarly ideological. The most flexible classes at UT — the courses that would be taken by the average physics or engineering student seeking to graduate on time or early and get a job — are almost exclusively leftist indoctrination disguised as academic pursuits.
Instead of allowing taxpayer dollars to be used to demonize the founding principles of America and indoctrinate students with leftist propaganda, Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Legislature must use the power granted to them by the citizens of Texas to demand state universities not make leftist indoctrination an inevitable requirement for graduation from even the most objective scientific disciplines.