UNL faculty speak out on resolution opposing critical race theory
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Faculty Senate says it opposes a resolution against critical race theory.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Critical race theory continues to be a hot topic. According to the Associated Press, the theory would basically allow the teaching that racism is systemic in the nation’s institutions and maintains the dominance of white people in society.
Steve Kolbe is the president of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Faculty Senate. He’s also a professor in the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film.
He says the Senate does not agree with a resolution proposed by Board of Regent Jim Pillen. The resolution would oppose “any imposition of critical race theory” as part of university curriculum.
“You cannot tell the faculty how or what to teach in their individual classes,” Kolbe said. “The faculty are the experts in those particular classes. That’s why they teach those classes in that way.”
Regent Jim Pillen released this statement to Channel 8 saying:
“As an elected member of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, I am responsible to the citizens of the state. Our citizens expect that their values will be upheld by the university. The imposition of Critical Race Theory on our students runs counter to those ideals by attempting to indoctrinate students and silencing their dissenting opinions. This resolution affirms a fair and balanced dialogue on all issues.”
Governor Pete Ricketts has shown his support for the resolution by taking to twitter saying, “Thank you to NU Regent Jim Pillen for leading the fight against this divisive and anti-american philosophy.”
The University of Nebraska Board of Regents will be voting on a resolution opposing Critical Race Theory in the coming weeks. Thank you to NU Regent Jim Pillen for leading the fight against this divisive and anti-American philosophy! pic.twitter.com/UaNvzsD2aX
— Gov. Pete Ricketts (@GovRicketts) July 8, 2021
“Critical Race Theory is a theory like Marxism,” Governor Ricketts said. “Marxism divides people by class warfare. Critical race theory does the same thing along the lines of race.”
Part of the resolution reads “those who practice critical race theory, seek to silence opposing views and disparage important American ideals.”
“I find that unfortunate language, and kind of proves our point,” Kolbe said. “The whole idea of academic freedom is that we welcome opposing views.”
He says the resolution would strip away the idea of academic freedom, which Kolbe says is embedded in the regents bylaws.
“I fully expect that this will be dismissed or will be voted down, because they know their own bylaws.”
Pillen’s resolution will head to the board on August 13.