Campus Reform | EXCLUSIVE: University of Oregon’s anti-racism plan considers defunding police, endorsing BLM, using diversity as employment factor

EXCLUSIVE: University of Oregon’s anti-racism plan considers defunding police, endorsing BLM, using diversity as employment factor

These efforts include conversations about how to deal with "hurtful" viewpoints.

Internal documents obtained by Campus Reform reveal the details of the University of Oregon's approach to diversity efforts.

Internal documents obtained by Campus Reform reveal that the University of Oregon discussed a plan that includes defunding the police, endorsing the Black Lives Matter movement, and using “diversity” as an employment factor.

The school’s Vice President, Jamie Moffitt, laid out these plans in an email to the Diversity Committee: “If employees were permitted to post signs expressing their own personal viewpoints, the institution would need to allow signs with all types of viewpoints to be posted, even if some might be considered hurtful." 

“However, I found the discussion of whether formal UO signs could be posted that express institutional values interesting. I plan to explore this question with the relevant offices on campus to see what options exist.” 

In a memo sent on Aug. 7, the Diversity Committee addressed this. 

“The diversity committee did discuss issues around free speech and opposing viewpoints (e.g., All Lives Matter) and noted that the UO should specifically endorse this position (e.g., BLM), and the display of such signs.”

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Diversity Committee notes from an August 20 meeting state, “We need BLM signs on campus so people can see that it is a critical value and component of our university community.” 

The notes continued: “Consider an institutional point of view- an institutional campaign on values (including BLM).”

Defunding the police was a theme consistently brought up throughout the correspondence obtained by Campus Reform. Under the “Short Term” goals section, those involved were directed by Moffitt to “set up learning opportunities with UOPD on topics like community service, defunding the police, etc.” The Vice President explained her reasoning behind this initiative: “The murder of Black Americans across our country has brought to the surface of our nation's collective consciousness the fact that racism still exists in our society.”

The university is considering multiple ways to use “diversity” as an employment factor. When hiring, it was proposed that the university should “Give points to applicants for strengths, attributes, and skills in diversity (e.g., bilingualism, biculturalism).” 

While one proposal seems to emphasize identity as a tool in the hiring process, another idea seems to aim at eliminating identity altogether, such as removing names and pronouns from application materials within “3-4 months.”

[RELATED: UOregon announces new $11 million anti-racist center]

The school will potentially “add diversity training into onboarding sessions,” which it would “implement in January 2021.” As soon as one officially becomes a member of the staff, it is suggested that all employees undergo mandatory “...monthly trainings on systemic racism, oppression, white fragility, anti-racism, etc.”

One University of Oregon employee who spoke with Campus Reform on the condition of anonymity shared thoughts on the new diversity plan. 

“I have worked at the University of Oregon for more than a dozen years. In the past, our diversity training would mostly be annually and I felt this was adequate… having so much training in this area really makes me feel like they are dangerously close to becoming indoctrination sessions. The proposals contained in some of the diversity crowds documents [sic] also include a mention of so-called 'white fragility' and I think that divisive critical race theory is starting to gets [sic] its camels nose [sic] under the tent so to speak.”

The University of Oregon declined to comment, and Campus Reform did not receive a comment from Moffitt in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @loganwashburn76