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ASU’s DEI Regime Mandates Discriminatory ‘Inclusivity’ Training—So We’re Suing

March 19, 2024

Dr. Owen Anderson, who has taught philosophy and religious studies at Arizona State University (ASU) for 21 years, is a popular professor, but he could face discipline from his superiors—all because he won’t take the university’s discriminatory diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training.

Today, the Goldwater Institute sued ASU on his behalf for using taxpayer funds to mandate DEI training among faculty—in violation of state law.

“I shouldn’t be forced to take training and affirm ideas with which I disagree as a condition of employment,’” Owen says. “This ‘training’ is simply racism under the guise of DEI. It goes against my conscience, and I want no part of it.”

“Arizona state law prohibits mandatory training for state employees and use of taxpayer resources to teach doctrines that discriminate based on race, ethnicity, sex, and other characteristics,” Goldwater Staff Attorney Stacy Skankey adds.

But the “ASU Inclusive Communities” training teaches discriminatory DEI concepts, including things like “how…white supremacy [is] normalized in society,” how to “critique whiteness”; “white privilege”; “white fragility”; and the need for “transformative justice.” Even “seemingly innocuous questions and comments”—like asking people where they’re from or commenting on their hair—can be deemed “racist.”

Already, a new Goldwater Institute report revealed this government-run institution is requiring its journalism students to take a mandatory course that teaches them to avoid “microaggressions” and check their “privilege.” Moreover, ASU required the vast majority of faculty job applicants to submit a mandatory “diversity” statement—a practice that Arizona’s public universities only abandoned after months of pressure from the Goldwater Institute.

Faculty training is apparently next. Moreover, the university is requiring faculty and staff to take a test after the completion of this training, and if the employee fails to provide the “right” answer (ASU won’t reveal its grading criteria), then they’ll be reported to their supervising dean.

“ASU is essentially forcing its employees to agree to a certain type of speech, which violates the Arizona Constitution’s broad protections for free speech,” Skankey says.

At public universities around the country, DEI is seeping every aspect of university life. But the Goldwater Institute is leading the nation in defeating DEI, one win at a time. In addition to striking a death blow against mandatory “diversity statements” in Arizona, Goldwater passed a reform in Florida banishing these and other discriminatory techniques used by the left to enforce ideological conformity on campus. And in Texas, Goldwater enacted the nation’s most powerful reform to completely defund the bloated apparatus of DEI administrators in public higher education.

Taxpayer-funded discrimination has no place in higher education—so Goldwater is putting a stop to it.

You can read our complaint here, and read more about the case here.



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