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Arizona Republic: Diversity statements are finally on their way out at ASU

August 29, 2023

Phil Boas, an editorial columnist for The Arizona Republic, wrote about the Arizona Board of Regents’ decision that Arizona’s public universities would drop the use of diversity, equity and inclusion statements in hiring. Here’s are some excerpts from his op-ed, which can be read in full here.

The DEI statement is a McCarthyesque loyalty oath that requires applicants for faculty positions to assert their fealty to a political philosophy built upon the identity politics of the progressive left.

The name alone — “diversity, equity and inclusion” — sounds harmless, but is a highly disputed political construct that has aroused criticism on both the left and right.

Critics argue that “equity” is a commitment to the equality of outcomes rather than the “equality” of opportunity that is central to the American Creed.

It is a philosophy that has led universities to impose diversity through top-down racial quotas and set-asides.

Leading the charge against DEI statements in Arizona, the Goldwater Institute reported how often Arizona’s public universities required DEI statements in job postings:

  • 81% at Arizona State University.
  • 28% at the University of Arizona.
  • 73% at Northern Arizona University.

ASU officials denied this week they had required DEI statements, but their own job postings contradict them, wrote Arizona Republic reporter Ray Stern:

“For instance, a current posting for a postdoctoral research scholar in ASU’s Institute of Human Origins states that ‘required’ materials to be submitted by applicants includes ‘a statement addressing how your past and/or present potential contributions to diversity and inclusion will advance ASU’s commitment to inclusive excellence.’ ” 

By dropping DEI statements, the universities have taken one step away from identity politics and toward free expression that will be essential in ending the rancor that plagues American society.



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