The University of Massachusetts Boston (UMass Boston) has removed DEI statements from their job applications after facing pressure from a non-profit organization, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE).
The organization released a statement, explaining that DEI statements are often used as ways to “penalize” those with differing viewpoints. The organization says that it engaged in a multi-month back-and-forth communication effort with UMass Boston in hopes of getting them to remove DEI statements from job listings. (RELATED: Red State Bans Use Of Diversity Statements In University Hiring)
VICTORY: After five months of advocacy from FIRE, @UMassBoston has quietly removed unconstitutional DEI requirements from faculty applications!
Our full blog is coming soon, but here are the big takeaways. ⬇️
— FIRE (@TheFIREorg) November 29, 2023
“Such mandates often function as political litmus tests for adherence to prevailing ideological views on DEI and can too easily be used to penalize faculty for holding dissenting opinions,” FIRE wrote. The university required applicants for a computer science professorship to submit “a diversity statement that reflects experience and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” according to documents reviewed by FIRE.
Conservatives have sounded the alarm on public universities’ use of DEI statements over the past year. Red states have moved to ban the statements from being used for employment or admission to public universities. Notably, major universities such as Texas A&M and The University of Wisconsin have dropped DEI statements due to pressure from conservative lawmakers.