Bucknell electrical engineering professor Meriel Huggard canceled her regularly-scheduled lecture for March 29, requiring her students to attend and write about a campus summit on diversity instead.
A student in Professor Huggard’s electrical engineering course, Digital Systems Design, claims they are being forced to register for and attend a lecture on diversity this week instead of attending their usual Wednesday lecture. Huggard reportedly announced that their regularly-scheduled lecture had been canceled in-class and then again on Moodle, an open-source learning management system that allows students and their instructors to communicate and share files with each other.
“Instead of going to class you should attend a Diversity Summit Event. Please register for this now,” a screenshot of Huggard’s Moodle post provided to Breitbart Tech reads.
The message also states students are required to submit a one-page reflection on how Wednesday’s diversity lecture “is relevant” to their “future professional career” in engineering.
The diversity lecture that Huggard’s students will attend on Wednesday is part of Bucknell University’s ideologically-charged “Diversity Summit,” an annual seminar event that features “panels, workshops, dialogues, poster and other creative presentations that spotlight the expertise and experience of Bucknell students, staff and faculty.” The keynote speaker for this year’s event will be Barry Jenkins, the director of the critically-acclaimed and Oscar-award-winning film, Moonlight.
It is unclear how the summit event, which this year is focused on the topics of “Identity, Inclusion and Social Transformation: Centering Gender, Power and Privilege,” is relevant enough to cancel a lecture for electrical engineering students.
Andy Hirsch, Bucknell’s Chief Communications Officer, issued the following statement to Breitbart Tech when contacted for comment:
Among the outcomes Professor Huggard identifies for her students in her electrical engineering class is learning how to effectively function as a member of a diverse team — something they’ll likely experience in their professional lives. As such, she asked her students to attend any one of the numerous events taking place during the two-day Diversity Summit (not necessarily Tuesday’s talk) and reflect on how what they learned could be relevant to working as a member of a diverse team tackling large-scale, real-world problems.
Editor’s note: this story has been updated to clarify the name and title of the Bucknell official who contacted Breitbart Tech.
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about education and social justice for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org