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The Chronicle of Higher Education Releases Updated DEI Legislation Tracker

Business Wire: “The Chronicle of Higher Education today announced its updated DEI Legislation Tracker, which is following 49 bills in 23 states to restrict efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion and prohibiting colleges from a range of DEI initiatives. Republican politicians in early 2023 launched an assault on colleges’ diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts to recruit and retain faculty and students of color. While college administrators say DEI efforts are an effective strategy to repair decades of exclusionary policies and practices that repelled people of color from their campuses, Republican leaders say the practices violate free speech, break anti-discrimination laws, and are a misuse of public money. Proposed rollbacks include prohibiting DEI offices and staff; banning mandatory diversity training; prohibiting institutions from using diversity statements in hiring and promotion; and prohibiting colleges from using race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in admissions or employment. The Chronicle identified bills from the 2023 and 2024 legislative sessions that would affect DEI efforts and supplemented those efforts by searching for relevant legislation covered by local media outlets. This is the most comprehensive analysis to date of Republican efforts to restrict DEI programs on college campuses. The bills vary in scope: some propose limited versions of the bans outlined in model legislation, while others cover far more ground. Several of the bills have drawn criticism from academics and defenders of academic freedom and diversity initiatives, although opinions – even on the same side of the political spectrum – vary on specific proposals, such as prohibiting diversity statements.”

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