Will the last diversity, equity, and inclusion bureaucrat to leave their office on campus please turn out the lights?
On college grounds today, so-called DEI departments are withering as whistleblowers reveal that the offices have promoted racial prejudice and operated with little transparency—and no measurable results—for years.
School officials and lawmakers in states such as Florida, Texas, and Arizona are closing such departments or ceasing universitywide policies that supported them, and so far, DEI administrators have failed to find support for their discriminatory activities.
Various projects are underway to protect individuals from the racial bias of diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.
In Arizona, the Goldwater Institute released a scathing report earlier this year documenting that up to 80% of faculty job listings at Arizona public universities required applicants to submit a “diversity statement” (sometimes called “loyalty oaths”) as part of their employment application.
In a formal statement Tuesday, Goldwater said such loyalty oaths “are increasingly used across academia as a political screening test to enforce intellectual and political conformity in support of left-wing concepts aligned with critical race theory (CRT).”
College administrators reject job applications if they don’t include statements conforming to the prevailing woke orthodoxy, according to Goldwater’s report. This process is not unique to Arizona: An investigation by the Reason Foundation found that 75% of applications to join the faculty of the University of California system were rejected in this way.
Arizona public university officials had used the same methods, but Goldwater noted, but lately new job listings from Arizona State University are missing a requirement to complete a diversity statement.
And last month, Arizona State University officials announced that employees “are not forced to sign diversity statements.” Personnel at Arizona’s public universities seem to be quietly erasing DEI’s footprint.
In Texas, the changes have been more noticeable. State lawmakers adopted a proposal in June to prohibit diversity, equity, and inclusion operations on the campuses of public colleges and universities.
Leaders at one state school didn’t waste any time: Last week, University of North Texas announced the dissolution of its DEI office, saying the vice president in charge of it would retire.
In Florida, after Gov. Ron DeSantis replaced board members at the New College of Florida, the new appointees immediately shuttered the school’s DEI department. DeSantis, a Republican, then signed a proposal prohibiting DEI departments at state universities from using public funds, signaling the end of the offices at most schools.
Lawmakers in South Carolina and Arkansas also considered proposals to abolish offices for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, renamed the state’s DEI office, replacing “equity” with “opportunity,” warning that DEI has “gone off the rails.”
Diversity, equity, and inclusion programs attract critics on both sides of the political spectrum. Research has found that DEI training is ineffective at changing individual opinions; reports in mainstream publications ask whether such training is doing more harm than good.
In the corporate world, businesses are trimming their DEI staff. Some anticipate that the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling against racial preferences in college admissions means that when employees find the same prejudice in corporate DEI programs, they could file lawsuits—or worse.
The Free Press reported that a successful educator took his own life after a DEI “trainer” excoriated him during a session. His crime? Saying that Canada actually is a pretty just society, despite the trainer’s claims that Canada is “a bastion of white supremacy and colonialism.”
The educator had questioned the DEI gospel, and for the next two years he faced ridicule. He was shamed and abandoned, ultimately losing all hope.
State and federal officials have policy ideas at their disposal to protect students and educators from the racial discrimination of diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.
Lawmakers should forbid DEI departments on college campuses from using taxpayer money and expedite their closing. These departments have not demonstrated their effectiveness, yet employ dozens. Some public universities have over a hundred DEI employees.
State policymakers should ban public university administrators from requiring job applicants to complete “loyalty oaths.”
Students and employees are exposing DEI’s biased activities on campus and in the workplace, and lawmakers should close these offices. Americans value diverse opinions—all of them, not just woke ideas.
This op-ed was originally published at The Daily Signal.
Jonathan Butcher is a senior fellow at the Goldwater Institute.
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