Critics Slam Univ. of Oregon Diversity Effort

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In an effort to promote diversity at the University of Oregon (search), a plan has been developed that would hire, fire and promote professors not just on the quality of their teaching and research, but on their so-called “cultural competency."

Freshmen would take a class on the subject and faculty would be trained in it. The problem is that nowhere in the 22-page diversity draft plan is “cultural competency” (search) defined.

"I can imagine huge amounts of time that should be going to research and teaching being tied up with this sort of thing — and making life extremely unpleasant,” said Christopher Phillips, a University of Oregon professor.

Critics also worry about the cost. The plan calls for 800 diversity-building scholarships and dozens of new staff positions in order to add degree programs in fields like “queer studies” and “disabled studies.”

Supporters say they understand the challenges, but such a program is necessary because racism and discrimination persist.

"If we're going to make it our goal to advance our skills around cultural competency, we owe it to each other to have accountability for how we do that," said interim Vice Provost Charles Martinez.

And students are mixed on the school’s diversity initiatives, with some backing them but others complaining that they sometimes go too far.

Click in the video box at the top of this story to see a full report by FOX News' Dan Springer.