Uproar over racial studies ‘overblown’, statistics suggest

The political uproar over racial and ethnic studies programmes in higher education is clouding the reality that few four-year institutions offer a major in Latino studies. Such small numbers also are the reality with majors in the study of other racial and ethnic groups, writes Suzanne Gamboa for NBC News.

A major in Latino studies is offered by just 89 of more than 2,600 four-year colleges and universities, according to a new report by the Latinx Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Further, the majority of those programmes are dramatically underfunded and understaffed, with many having one or no core tenure-track faculty in the programme, the researchers found.

Just 252 four-year higher education institutions, or 9%, offer an African American or a Black studies major; 52, or 2%, offer an Asian American studies major; 74 or 3% offer a Native American studies major; and 146 or 5% offer a broader ethnic studies major, the Berkeley research released this month found. Given those numbers, the turmoil over ethnic studies seems “overblown”, said G Cristina Mora, the study’s lead author. “It’s quite ironic that these nascent and vulnerable programmes are targeted because they are somehow taking over,” she added.
Full report on the NBC News site