Campus Reform | UC Santa Barbara unveils new ‘feminist studies’ degree program

UC Santa Barbara unveils new ‘feminist studies’ degree program

The University of California-Santa Barbara is using federal taxpayer dollars to create a “feminist studies” degree program.

The $3 million in funding is coming from a Department of Education grant meant to aid Hispanic students.

Months ago, the school implemented pay cuts and salary freezes to stay solvent through COVID-19.

The University of California-Santa Barbara is using federal taxpayer dollars to create a “feminist studies” degree program.

An April 13 letter from the Office of the Chancellor explains steps that UC Santa Barbara will take “to make sure that anti-Blackness, which is at the core of all such tragedies as George Floyd's death, does not have a place on our campus and in our community.” 

[RELATED: 'Anti-racist journey' prompts UNR lecturer to apologize for teaching 'Jingle Bells,’ ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep']

Among these steps is the use of a $3 million Department of Education Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) grant to create a new “4+1” program. The program grants students a bachelor’s degree in ethnic studies or feminist studies, and later, a master's degree and teaching credential in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education.

UC Santa Barbara will spend money on a new degree program despite being previously concerned that the COVID-19-recession and reductions in state funding could cause the university to lose between $160 million and $210 million by June 30, 2021 — a projection that led to salary freezes and a voluntary pay cut of 10 percent for top administrators like Chancellor Henry T. Yang.

[RELATED: Georgetown shells out $1M for racial equity]

According to the Department of Education website, the Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Division “provides grant funding to institutions of higher education to assist with strengthening institutional programs, facilities, and services to expand the educational opportunities for Hispanic Americans and other underrepresented populations.”

Campus Reform asked the Department of Education whether an HSI grant can be properly used on a feminist studies program. This article will be updated accordingly.

Follow this author on Twitter: @BenZeisloft