Email from UCCS professors about class gains attention

Published: Sep. 1, 2016 at 8:45 PM MDT
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An email sent out by University of Colorado - Colorado Springs professors is getting attention across the country by some conservative blogs and national news outlets.

The email reportedly said the class would study only "human-caused" climate change — and if students had a different opinion they could leave the class.

UCCS confirmed Thursday the email was sent out giving students an option to leave the class. A spokesman for the school said they just want to keep the course on track.

"The faculty was very direct and straightforward in staring that the bulk of this course is going to be about human-induced climate change, and that's going to be the primary subject of discussion," said UCCS spokesperson Tom Hutton. "No differently than a math professor would say, 'This class is about algebra; we're not going to talk about geometry.'"

The course catalog for the online elective humanities class at UCCS said the topic varies by semester. The university confirmed professors teaching the course sent out an email that said some students were concerned about the class only looking at one side.

"They were direct with their students and allowing them to essentially make a choice as to whether that class fit within their scholarly pursuits," Hutton said.

In the email, it said since the class is online any debate would happen through comments on a website.

"The point of departure for this course is based on the scientific premise that human-induced climate change is valid and occurring. We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change, nor will the "other side" of the climate change debate be taught or discussed in this course. This includes discussion among students in the discussion forums. Opening up a debate that 98 percent of climate scientists unequivocally agree to be a non-debate would detract from the central concerns of environment and health addressed in this course."
-Excerpt from email

Some students 11 News spoke to said they saw it both ways.

"Everyone has an opinion, everyone has a right to retort the debate, and that's another necessary thing for college rhetoric," said Conner Bertles. "I feel like teachers need to allow that."

"I feel like it would be more informative for people who would find it more interesting, that one side," said Morgan Hitchcock.

The email also said the professors would be willing to meet with any students who had concerns about the class.