- The University of North Carolina School of Medicine attempted to update its curriculum to adopt social justice advocacy requirements without alerting the public, according to documents obtained by National Association of Scholars (NAS) Senior Fellow and Director of University Policy John Sailer.
- The Department of Allied Health Sciences formed a task force to recommend policies it could implement to embed social justice in its curriculum, but administrators attempted to keep all information internal, according to emails obtained by Sailer.
- “The UNC Board of Governors likewise passed a prohibition against compelled speech, which will likely put an end to mandatory DEI statements — a groundbreaking policy. But if UNC is serious about supporting academic freedom, and pushing back against the ever-narrowing orthodoxy on campus, they need to know what they’re up against,” Sailer told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
A University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine department attempted to boost equity by adopting social justice curricula while hiding the details from the public, according to documents obtained by National Association of Scholars (NAS) Senior Fellow and Director of University Policy John Sailer.
The Task Force to Integrate Social Justice into the Allied Health Curricula created a 30-page report that outlines various policy changes the Department of Allied Health Sciences (DAHS) could implement to bolster social justice action by both students and faculty, the document revealed. UNC administrators intended to keep the report’s recommendations hidden from the public but would not stop the implementation, according to emails also obtained by Sailer. (RELATED: ‘Worse Than Hitler’: Notre Dame Dean Sicced The Mob On Alum Who Criticized ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’ Program)
The DAHS chair wrote in an email that the proposal was in its “early phase of discussion” and that the goal was to implement the policies on July 1. An administrator then sent the report to Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Nate Thomas asking if he was aware of the task force and if it conflicted with the school’s update on its own initiatives.
He responded that he was not concerned about the task force conflicting because its information “wasn’t posted on the web,” according to the email.
“She also asked about how much the document was shared with faculty, staff, and students. I shared that sharing the document was part of the process but wasn’t exactly sure how broad the document was shared,” he wrote. “She asked, in case we need to manage the communication so that the document isn’t in the public domain, if possible. I believe we are OK because both of your docs are still internal… am I correct in thinking this?”
Thomas wrote that they were “trying to navigate external pushback on our SJ Task Force work.” The subject line of the email read “Please don’t share this SJ document.”
DOCUMENTS: In late 2021, the UNC Department of Allied Health Sciences created a report from its “Task Force to Integrate Social Justice into the Allied Health Curricula.”
Through a records request, I’ve acquired the report, along with eye-opening emails on its implementation. pic.twitter.com/i104zIHfrw
— John Sailer (@JohnDSailer) March 22, 2023
The DAHS report recommended that students be trained in social justice advocacy and complete at least one activism event involving “policy/legislative, community, clinical and other healthcare settings” options, according to the document. The students
“will provide effective social justice advocacy on behalf of their patients/clients within and beyond the clinical setting, as well as on behalf of marginalized communities, organizations, and other systems,” it reads.
Faculty, too, would be required to incorporate social justice into their curriculum. The report recommended incentives be used to encourage faculty compliance through peer evaluations, annual reviews and opportunities for promotion and tenure.
The UNC medical school was scrutinized for its 2021 school-wide Task Force For Integrating Social Justice Into the Curriculum, Sailer reported. Several school departments were advised in the report to establish their own social justice task forces.
Wesley Burks, the school’s dean, promised to provide an update on its task force during a presentation to the UNC Board of Governors and the UNC Board of Trustees in wake of the media attention, according to Sailer. The report would address what recommendations were accepted and would be implemented.
“The report I acquired raises major concerns about academic freedom and ideological capture, but it’s all the more concerning that the administration chose to keep this report,” Sailer told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Recently, UNC-Chapel Hill pass[ed] the Kalven Report and Chicago Principles — a huge move in support of academic freedom.”
The Chicago Principles is a free speech framework adopted by colleges and universities and refers to the statement crafted by the Committee on Freedom of Expression at the University of Chicago, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression. The Kalven Report states that the university is committed to academic freedom and will remain neutral on political and social issues, according to the University of Chicago.
“The UNC Board of Governors likewise passed a prohibition against compelled speech, which will likely put an end to mandatory DEI statements — a groundbreaking policy. But if UNC is serious about supporting academic freedom, and pushing back against the ever-narrowing orthodoxy on campus, they need to know what they’re up against,” he continued. “Frankly, they should think about conducting serious investigations of their own. Otherwise, I suspect a lot of damaging policies will simply be adopted and implemented covertly.”
UNC School of Medicine did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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