The University of Memphis will cancel an initiative that encouraged faculty members to alter their current courses to incorporate “diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice” curriculum, according to a new report from the Washington Free Beacon and Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.
The program, entitled “Eradicating Systemic Racism and Promoting Social Justice Initiative,” received widespread backlash from lawmakers that represent the state.
According to the report, Lee’s office contacted university leadership shortly after the Free Beacon first reported the new program.
“The University of Memphis informed my office that the initiative will not move forward,” Governor Lee told the Free Beacon. “We welcome robust debate on college campuses, but taxpayer dollars should never be used to fuel a divisive, radical agenda.”
“Ending this program was the right decision, and I thank the university for hearing our concerns,” Lee added.
The decision will prevent professors from gaining a $3,000 stipend to teach the new components. In order to receive the funds, a professor would have been required to provide a detailed plan to describe their course of action when including the preferred curriculum.
The measure was a part of a larger effort “to identify areas in need of reform and change, and implement that change to take another step in the direction of realizing the hope of a community defined by equality and justice.”
“The University should be encouraging their students to be independent thinkers, expanding their world view, learning how to be lifelong learners and respectful of all,” said Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) in a statement to Fox News.
“Taxpayer dollars should not be used to fund a woke social justice agenda.”
Some students of the public university claimed university leaders could spend the funds in other ways, like updating dorms or improving educational offerings.
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