State lawmakers continue to unravel the thread of discrimination leading to university bureaucracies committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
This spring, prepare for more legislators to cobble together provisions that protect students and college employees from DEI’s racial bias.
Last year, public officials in five states—Florida, Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin—adopted proposals that put university systems on notice that DEI departments’ discriminatory activities would be shut down.
After Florida lawmakers adopted proposals in May calling for an end to DEI on college campuses, the state university governing board voted in November to prohibit universities from using taxpayer funds on DEI.
In Texas, a new state law requires state university administrators to begin shutting down campus DEI offices this year.
State legislators in most states returned to session earlier this month, and DEI is at the top of the agenda for many.
In Utah, lawmakers are considering a proposal that prohibits mandatory DEI trainings that advocate for racial preferences or “promotes the differential treatment of an individual” based on race. The proposal also says universities cannot operate programs that assert “directly or indirectly that an individual should be discriminated against, receive adverse treatment, be advanced, or receive beneficial treatment because of the individual’s personal identity characteristics.”
Utah State University operates a DEI office that, among other pledges to the woke orthodoxy, provides a “land acknowledgement statement” on its website. Universities use these statements as a guilt offering, as though by saying the school was not the first to use the property on which the college sits, they absolve themselves of historical events the school had nothing to do with. No word on whether the school intends to give the land back.
The University of Utah also has a DEI office that will host an event in February on “Lunar Perspectives: Moonlight Dialogue with Black Queer Voices.” DEI offices often host events such as these, and parents and taxpayers should wonder how such DEI programs improve student achievement or prepare students to be better engineers, medical professionals, educators, or even astronomers when they graduate.
In South Carolina, lawmakers have introduced a proposal that would prohibit colleges from “establishing or maintaining an office or division or other unit by any name whose purpose, in whole or in part, is the promotion of diversity, equity and inclusion.” To the university’s credit, the University of South Carolina renamed its DEI office last year and added civil rights to the new office’s title, though Clemson University still operates a DEI office.
In Oklahoma, state lawmakers have introduced four proposals to enforce Gov. Kevin Stitt’s executive order from last December that said executive state agencies may not use taxpayer funds to “grant or support diversity, equity or inclusion provisions, departments, activities, procedures or programs” that treat people differently based on race or color or national origin.
Both the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University have DEI offices, and the Oklahoma Council for Public Affairs found that the University of Oklahoma spent more than $83 million on DEI activities over the past 10 years. Last year, school officials spent $56,000 on drag queen shows alone.
Whether state officials will identify DEI offices as discriminatory—and document how these departments do nothing to advance racial or intellectual diversity—will be key measures of success for state lawmakers this legislative session.
DEI offices and training programs advocate for racial preferences and other slippery components of Marxist critical theory, such as so-called microaggressions and implicit bias.
Legislative proposals also should prevent college administrators from requiring job applicants to write DEI statements as a condition of applying for a position.
West Virginia lawmakers are considering a new proposal that bans these loyalty oaths, saying, “No diversity statement shall ever be required or solicited as part of an admissions process, employment application process, hiring process, contract renewal process or promotion process.”
For proposals to deal effectively with the bias inherent in DEI, lawmakers should directly state that colleges and universities cannot use taxpayer funds to create or operate DEI offices.
Public officials in five states are freeing their states’ campuses from DEI’s discrimination—and there are more to come.
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