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Iowa Board of Regents cracks down on DEI programs at state universities

2 weeks ago 18
DEI Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds speaking with attendees at Reynolds's Fair-Side Chats at JR's South Pork Ranch at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

(Daily Caller News Foundation) — The Iowa Board of Regents recommended Thursday to eliminate diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs at state universities, except for DEI programs that are necessary for federal compliance, according to its report.

Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill in June to initiate a “comprehensive study and review of the diversity, equity and inclusion programs and efforts of each institution of higher learning,” according to the state legislature’s website. Board of Regents President Michael Richards appointed a group to review DEI programs in March, and the Iowa Board of Regents last week recommended to “eliminate any DEI functions that are not necessary,” according to the report.

“I learned from this review that our universities are welcoming places,” David Barker, president of Iowa’s Board of Regent’s review committee on DEI, said in a statement Thursday. “They do not withhold benefits or opportunities from anyone because they are members of minority racial groups or because of their nationality, sex, gender or sexual preference. University faculty, staff and administrators are committed to providing equal opportunity for all students.”

The board recommended to “restructure the central, university-wide DEI offices to eliminate any DEI functions that are not necessary for compliance and accreditation,” according to the report. It also recommended to “review all college, department, or unit-level DEI positions to determine whether DEI specific job responsibilities are necessary for compliance, accreditation or student and employee support services,” and said that “any position responsibilities that are not necessary for these purposes shall be adjusted or eliminated.”

BREAKING: The Iowa Board of Regents has voted to abolish DEI in all state universities. pic.twitter.com/0kL3x9ESMh

— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) November 20, 2023

The report also recommends that no employee, student or visitor be required to state their pronouns. It also recommends that universities take steps to ensure no applicant is required to submit a statement about their commitment to DEI, and creating a board policy prohibiting the use of race as an admission factor.

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law in May to eliminate DEI in public Florida colleges. Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a similar bill in June.

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