Iowa Regents Order Public Universities to Pause New DEI Programs

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University of Iowa campus
University of Iowa campus. (Photo courtesy of Tony Webster via Wikimedia Commons)
The Iowa Board of Regents has ordered the state’s three public universities to halt new DEI programs as it undergoes a review of all current efforts.

In a statement, Board President Michael Richards said the regents “will initiate a comprehensive study and review” of all DEI programs at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and the University of Northern Iowa.

Current DEI programs at the three schools will remain in operation, according to a statement from board spokesman Josh Lehman.

Earlier this month, Iowa Republicans introduced a bill that would prevent the regent-controlled universities from using state or private funding on DEI offices or staff.

The legislation makes Iowa the latest Republican-led state to attempt to stifle or outright ban diversity programming at higher education institutions. Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis made headlines for his proposal to defund university DEI offices, while multiple Texas universities were forced to adjust their own diversity policies following orders from Gov. Greg Abbott.