Writing in an op-ed for The John William Pope Center last Wednesday, Hansen called the language of the new policy, "education babble," and said both university staff and students have embraced it without question.
"Although much of the language is a thicket of clichés, no one dared challenge it. Moreover, there was no probing of the ramifications of the plan. Apparently, 'diversity' has become such a sacred cow that even tenured professors are afraid to question it in any way," wrote Lee.
Hansen later charged that the new policy urges race-based grading.
"Especially shocking is the language about 'equity' in the distribution of grades. Professors, instead of just awarding the grade that each student earns, would apparently have to adjust them so that academically weaker, 'historically underrepresented racial/ethnic' students perform at the same level and receive the same grades as academically stronger students," said Hansen.
Of the more than 42,000 students enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, minority students make up 13 percent of the student population, with Asians, at 5.3 percent, making up nearly half of that share, according to the school's website.
On Monday, professor Patrick Sims, chief diversity officer and interim vice provost for diversity and climate at UW-Madison, dismissed Hansen's claims in a statement posted on the UW-Madison website.
"The idea that UW-Madison will begin to base student grading or the make-up of programs or majors on race or ethnicity has circulated on the Internet in the wake of a recent opinion column by emeritus UW-Madison professor Lee Hansen. Allow me set the record straight: Nothing could be further from the truth," noted Sims.
"Regrettably, Hansen's assertion that the campus' most recent strategic diversity framework embraces a quota system for apportioning grades by race, is a gross misrepresentation of our current efforts," he added.