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Five More States Prohibit "Diversity Statements" in Admissions and Hiring Decisions

April 26, 2024

The Goldwater Institute has struck a death blow against political litmus tests in public universities in five states this year. Legislators in Idaho, Utah, Alabama, Kansas, and Indiana enacted laws inspired by Goldwater reforms to prohibit the use of “diversity statements” in admissions and hiring decisions.

All five victories represent enormous wins for academic freedom, the First Amendment, and the preservation of intellectual diversity on campuses, as Goldwater continues to show the nation how to defeat the destructive ideologies that are crippling colleges and universities.

So-called “diversity statements,” often required by universities as part of employment and admissions applications, are ostensibly meant to promote “diversity, equity and inclusion” (DEI) on campus. However, these statements serve as litmus tests for ideological alignment, screening out candidates who do not adhere to specific progressive ideologies. As Goldwater Institute Senior Fellow Jonathan Butcher has explained: “DEI programs and ‘statements’ do not produce free expression nor more diversity of thought, equal opportunities, and a culture that includes everyone in school activities because DEI’s guiding principles are rooted in the racially discriminatory worldview known as critical race theory.”

Last year, Goldwater released a report revealing that up to 80% of faculty job applications at Arizona’s public universities were requiring applicants to submit “diversity statements.” Within months, Goldwater pressure forced the university system to end the practice. Goldwater has enacted reforms prohibiting mandatory “diversity statements” at public universities in Florida, Texas, Missouri, and North Carolina—with similar reforms being considered in Kansas, South Carolina, and Louisiana. Moreover, in Texas, Goldwater enacted the nation’s most powerful reform to completely dismantle the DEI apparatus in Texas public colleges and universities.

The Goldwater Institute remains steadfast in its mission to dismantle DEI in public higher education, in favor of a system that values diverse perspectives and fosters open inquiry. Through litigation and legislation, the Institute continues to lead the way in defending the principles of free expression and intellectual diversity in academia.

Logan Tantibanchachai is a Ronald Reagan Fellow at the Goldwater Institute.



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