A quick look at Rotten Tomatoes shows that each of the two newest films scores over 88%, which means they are considered quality films by a substantial portion of the population. As a comparison, they both score slightly higher than Hacksaw Ridge, which is nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards later this month. While there is, of course, criticism on the merits of their artistic production, it seems that none of it has been directed at the franchise's evolution in diversity of characters.
So, whose "ire" exactly is ASU referring to here? My guess is that somewhere on the blogosphere, there is a fringe few of Star Wars nerds who are a little too precious about their fandom, or there is an equally fringe-y few who just want to stir up trouble by trolling social justice warriors. There is in no way, from what I can tell, anyone who is involved in mainstream film that is critical of the racial make-up of the new Star Wars films. In fact, this aspect of the films has been one of their strongest points of praise.
But this is what public universities have increasingly become. By taking a microscopic example of criticism from a disreputable few and declaring it as representative of the broader culture, they have trained the youth of our nation to be oh-so-sensitive straw-men builders, constantly on the lookout for anyone with a hint of harmful perspective that they can elevate to a high enough level that they can serve cookies and punch at an event and then knock down in a comforting forum of tolerance.
There are certainly social issues that would be well served to be analyzed and opened up for discussion on college campuses. In fact, to a certain degree, that is a school's fundamental function. But Star Wars just isn't the cause to take up. So, take it easy, college kids (and administrators) looking to stir up controversy where there isn't any. As long as we aren't talking about Jar Jar Binks, no one has a problem with Star Wars.