Iowa Board Of Regents Crack Down On Diversity, Equity And Inclusion Programs At State Universities

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Brandon Poulter Contributor
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The Iowa Board of Regents recommended Thursday to eliminate diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs at the state universities, except for DEI programs that are necessary for federal compliance, according to its report.

Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill in June to initiate a “comprehensive study and review of the diversity, equity and inclusion programs and efforts of each institution of higher learning,” according to the state legislature’s website. Board of Regents President Michael Richards appointed a group to review DEI programs in March, and the Iowa Board of Regents last week recommended to “eliminate any DEI functions that are not necessary,” according to the report. (RELATED: Elite Universities That Are Hotbeds For Pro-Hamas Activism Got Billions In Federal Grants, Tax Benefits)

“I learned from this review that our universities are welcoming places,” David Barker, president of Iowa’s Board of Regent’s review committee on DEI, said in a statement Thursday. “They do not withhold benefits or opportunities from anyone because they are members of minority racial groups or because of their nationality, sex, gender or sexual preference. University faculty, staff and administrators are committed to providing equal opportunity for all students.”

The board recommended to “restructure the central, university-wide DEI officer to eliminate any DEI functions that are not necessary for compliance and accreditation,” according to the report. It also recommended to “review all college, department, or unit-level DEI positions to determine whether DEI specific job responsibilities are necessary for compliance, accreditation or student and employee support services,” and said that “any position responsibilities that are not necessary for these purposes shall be adjusted or eliminated.”

The report also recommends that no employee, student or visitor be required to state their pronouns. It also recommends that universities take steps to ensure no applicant is required to submit a statement about their commitment to DEI, and creating a board policy prohibiting the use of race as an admission factor.

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law in May to eliminate DEI in public Florida colleges. Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a similar bill in June.

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