The War on DEI

Republican lawmakers have introduced 40 anti-DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) bills targeting higher education institutions since late 2022. The laws take aim at essential institutional practices, including mandatory DEI training for employees, required diversity statements in hiring, DEI office programming, and curriculum and concepts related to systemic racism, sexism, oppression, and privilege.

Momentum began in Texas and Florida, and conservative politicians nationwide quickly introduced copycat measures in their own states. Now, legislation banning DEI initiatives has been signed into law in Florida, Texas, North Dakota, Tennessee, and North Carolina. While some of these bills failed to pass, other policies have successfully limited DEI efforts, and faculty are reporting a chilling effect on teaching and recruitment.

Read more of Insight’s coverage of the War on DEI.

Updates on Anti-DEI Measures

Conservative Utah Lawmakers Target DEI Efforts in Education

Through a new bill proposed this week, conservative lawmakers in Utah are targeting DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) efforts at public universities and K-12 schools. Democratic leaders expressed concern about the bill’s potential unintended consequences and the message sent to historically marginalized communities. The bill...

Texas Law Prohibiting DEI Offices Takes Effect

Photo of The University of Texas at Austin campus. The school, along with other UT System institutions, has paused DEI policies.
The Texas law, Senate Bill 17, took effect this month, prohibiting DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) offices and hiring of staff to perform DEI office duties at public higher education institutions. On June 17, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed the bill into law. In...

Kentucky Bill Targets DEI and ‘Divisive Concepts’ in Higher Ed

Kentucky has become the latest state to target DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) efforts with a new bill that would allow employees and students to sue public universities and colleges if they face discrimination for opposing “divisive concepts.” Senate Bill 6 outlines a 16-item list of...

Oklahoma Governor Signs Order Banning DEI Programs at Public Universities

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed an executive order this week banning DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) programs at state agencies and public colleges and universities. Effective immediately, the order eliminates state funding for all DEI positions, departments, activities, and trainings “to the extent they...

UW Regents Agree to Funding Deal Involving DEI Cuts

The University of Wisconsin (UW) Board of Regents have approved a controversial deal with Republican lawmakers that they previously rejected last Saturday. This agreement promises significant funding for employee salary increases and essential campus construction projects, including a new engineering building at UW-Madison. In...