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UCLA Chicano Studies Unit Urged

February 13, 1992

A group of UCLA Latino professors have unveiled a proposal to create a Chicano studies department, arguing that it would help the school become a vital resource for Southern California's growing Latino population.

The plan--which calls for the initial hiring of five to seven professors to staff a department of 120 students--marked the latest round in a two-year controversy over the future of Chicano studies at UCLA.

The professors acknowledged that they face an uphill battle, but "We think the time is right to do this," said sociology professor Vilma Ortiz.

In response, administration officials released letters from the provost of UCLA's College of Letters and Science and the chairman of the school's Academic Senate, who said they would recommend against the creation of a Chicano studies department.

UCLA Chancellor Charles Young said a better-funded Chicano studies curriculum, not a department, may be the best approach. "(But) I'm prepared to be dissuaded," Young said, noting that he would review the professors' proposal.

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