July 12, 2012 04:09 PM
UL Lafayette President Joseph Savoie, in an open letter he posted on his blog, says the university's job is to provide in an impartial manner an opportunity for investigation, analysis and understanding' of the controversial issues with which society is faced. An apparent outpour of conservative opposition to UL Lafayette's minor in LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) studies has prompted the university's president, Joseph Savoie, to address the new focus of study on his blog.

According to the president's blog published on the school's website, UL earlier this year began offering a minor in LGBT studies, a move that "did not require budgetary allocations or divert resources from other areas," Savoie says.

"It allows students to choose from a list of nearly 100 existing courses across several disciplines. These courses include topics such as anthropology, criminal justice, health care, psychology, marriage and the family, social work, professional ethics and many others," Savoie continues:
LGBT studies have been an academic area of study in the United States for nearly 50 years and exist at some 200 universities in the United States in a variety of forms as courses, minors or degree programs. Rooted in sociology, studies of human subgroups help prepare students for careers, such as counselors, personnel directors, teachers, social workers, criminal justice professionals, health care providers, managers and those involved in pastoral care.

Regardless of our personal feelings, as an academic institution, the university is obligated and committed to, within the law, the discovery and dissemination of knowledge, the protection of individual and group rights, and the preservation of religious and academic freedoms.

Our desired posture is to be neither advocate nor adversary on controversial social issues of the day. Rather, our responsibility is to provide in an impartial manner an opportunity for investigation, analysis and understanding.
Well said, Dr. Savoie. Read the full blog post here.