The Assault on DEI
Republican politicians in early 2023 launched an assault on colleges’ diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts to recruit and retain faculty and students of color. While college administrators say their so-called DEI efforts are an effective strategy to repair decades of exclusionary policies and practices that repelled communities of color from their campuses, Republican leaders say the practices violate free speech, break antidiscrimination laws, and are a misuse of public money.
Track the latest DEI Legislation
DEI Legislation TrackerLegislators, mostly Republicans, want to get rid of diversity, equity, and inclusion offices; end anti-bias trainings; and banish diversity statements.
Students and Faculty Fear Tenure and DEI Bills Could ‘Destroy’ Texas CollegesOver the weekend, Republican lawmakers gave final approval to a ban on diversity offices and changes in faculty job protections.
Q. & A.
‘It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way’: One Scholar’s Front-Row Seat to Higher-Ed Battles in Wisconsin and TexasJeremi Suri, a historian, left Wisconsin because of legislation to strip faculty rights. He went to Texas, where similar efforts have been proposed.
Duck and Cover
‘More Cowardly Than Cautious’: Faculty Decry College Leaders’ Silence on DEI AttacksWhen speaking out carries political risks, but staying quiet seems like complicity, the leaders are caught in a bind.
Diversity Statements Violate First Amendment, Professor Says in Suing U. of CaliforniaThe faculty member, who applied unsuccessfully for a job at UC-Santa Cruz, says the statements are not a legitimate way to assess candidates but are efforts “to ensure dogmatic conformity.”
Politics and Higher Ed
Diversity Spending Is Banned in Florida’s Public CollegesThe anti-DEI measure had been a priority for Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, who signed the bill into law on Monday.
A Question of Trust?
Florida Lawmakers Want Oversight of Invited Speakers on Public-College CampusesUnder a bill passed this month, new campus offices would have to ensure that debates and forums represent “multiple, divergent, and opposing perspectives.”
Hundreds of Witnesses
Tenure and DEI Changes Loom Large in Texas. Here Are 3 Takeaways From a Marathon Hearing.A Texas House of Representatives committee heard more than 10 hours of testimony on Monday.
The Impact on Black Colleges
As Politicians Target Higher Ed’s Diversity Efforts, HBCU Students Worry About Their CampusesIf it becomes illegal for colleges to promote diversity and inclusion, students wonder, what does that mean for Black institutions?
Florida’s Controversial Anti-DEI Bill Heads to DeSantis’s DeskThe measure’s final version would, among other things, expand state power to approve required coursework and dismantle colleges’ efforts to become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
Standoffs in the States
College DEI Bans Are Showing Up in Republicans’ State Budgets. Not Everyone Is on Board.In Missouri and elsewhere, some lawmakers say restricting diversity spending could have unintended consequences.
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Experts Question the Legality of Anti-DEI LegislationAs more states consider measures to bar colleges from hiring diversity, equity, and inclusion officials, some say that could violate federal laws and exceed the legislatures’ authority.
This Conservative Activist Wants to Eliminate Public Colleges’ DEI Initiatives. We Asked Why.In higher ed, inclusion “often means excluding anyone who doesn’t kowtow to prevailing orthodoxy,” says Ilya Shapiro of the Manhattan Institute.