Bill To Ban Diversity, Equity And Inclusion At Universities Heads To Utah Governor’s Desk

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Brandon Poulter Contributor
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A bill to ban diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) departments at state universities and government-funded employers is headed to Republican Utah Gov. Spencer Cox’s desk, according to The Associated Press.

The newly passed legislation outlaws trainings that “promote differential treatment” of individuals and will eliminate offices that enforce the tenets of DEI. The bill also requires institutions to remain politically neutral and outlaws the use of diversity statements in hiring, according to the AP. (RELATED: Harvard Will Keep Antisemitism Task Force Co-Chair Who Signed Letter Calling Israel A ‘Regime Of Apartheid’)

“I can assure you, after this legislative session, it will not be happening in the state of Utah, these diversity statements that you have to sign to get hired,” Cox said at a Dec. 20 news conference, according to the AP.

People walk next to temporary barriers installed on the campus of the University of Utah October 6, 2020, the location of tomorrow’s vice presidential debate, in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

“These diversity statements you have to sign to get hired, I think that is awful, bordering on evil,” Cox said during a televised news conference, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. “We’re forcing people into a political framework before they can even apply for a job with the state.”

University of Utah President Taylor Randall announced Jan. 5 that they’d no longer be using diversity statements in hiring, according to the Deseret News.

Several states have banned the usage of DEI in public universities.

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis banned the use of DEI in public schools and universities in May 2023 and Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott outlawed the practice in June 2023. Idaho banned the usage of diversity statements at universities in April 2023 and the Iowa Board of Regents in November recommended to eliminate DEI programs from state universities.

Republican Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed an executive order outlawing the use of DEI at public universities and at state agencies in December.

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, a free speech legal group, released a survey in February 2023 showing that half of university professors disapprove of diversity statements and say that they violated academic freedom.

Cox did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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