Let’s pour one out for academic freedom! She might not be around much longer.
In a letter published last week, the U.S. Department of Education ordered the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle Eastern Studies to revise its curriculum or risk losing federal funding under Title VI.
In the letter, dated Aug. 29, the Department said the Consortium places too much emphasis on “the positive aspects of Islam,” but lacks focus on other belief systems in the Middle East, such as Christianity and Judaism.
According to the Department, many of the consortium’s activities do little to aid the understanding of “geopolitical challenges” in the region — nor do they advance “U.S. national security and economic stability.”
The Department also wrote that, rather than focusing on the geography, geopolitical issues, history and language of the area, the Duke-UNC CMES instead discusses such issues as unconscious bias, safe classrooms and working across cultures.