Patricia Bowman wrote the following in an email to President Danko in response to the College Fix article.
Butler University was initially on my daughter’s college list: However, we decided against it for various reasons.
All students should be open to new perspectives—but why are students in this course required to be someone they are not?
This teaching approach is discriminatory and disrespectful—as well as ineffectual, since it is highly challenging for students to write in a voice that is the antithesis of who they are.
According to The Butler University Student Handbook’s Equal Opportunity Statement: “Butler University is committed to the principle of equal opportunity.
It does not knowingly discriminate against any applicant, student or employee on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, color, age, religion or nationality/ethnicity.”
How can the professor’s teaching approach be considered appropriate in the view of Butler University’s own Equal Opportunity Statement from the Student Handbook?
Clearly, students in this course are being offended and feel discriminated against on the basis of their sex, race and background.
That should not be tolerated, and yet Dean Howard’s statements indicate that Butler University supports this discrimination.
Discrimination of any type is simply wrong.
As an institution of higher education based on equal opportunity, Butler University should not only address the inherent discrimination of this course but also review whether this instructional approach is even competent with regard to appropriate learning objectives and outcomes.
All perspectives certainly can and should be considered in an open learning environment without having to discriminate against particular students, inferring there is something innately unjust about who they are.
As a former college professor, I found I always learned a tremendous amount from my students, who were of different ages, sex and ethnicities.
I always wanted them to be exactly who they were—and because of this, I found the learning environment was much richer as a result.
By the way—my daughter is Asian. She would have been an amazing addition to Butler University.
St. Louis, Mo