NEW YORK, NY – The “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” (DEI) takeover of public universities has produced sprawling bureaucracies that undermine intellectual diversity, limit equal opportunity, and exclude anyone who dissents from their ideological orthodoxy. A new Manhattan Institute issue brief from Christopher Rufo, Ilya Shapiro, and Matt Beienburg presents state legislators with straightforward ways to reverse these trends, and get American higher education back on track.
Developed in cooperation with the National Association of Scholars and the Goldwater Institute, the issue brief offers model legislative text – with explanations of purpose and rationale – for four concrete proposals:
- Abolish DEI bureaucracies: At universities with larger DEI staffs, academic freedom suffers and students feel less welcome. DEI staff growth also increases tuition cost, and with it, student debt. Cutting this administrative burden will help universities return to the transmission and discovery of truth, and decrease the cost of public higher education.
- End mandatory diversity training: To perform basic campus roles, professors, staff, and students nationwide are often required to undergo “diversity training” consisting of unscientific and unAmerican ideologies. States should ensure that no public institution of higher education can make diversity training mandatory.
- Curtail political coercion: “Diversity statements” often serve as a political litmus tests that exclude applicants who disagree with critical race theory (CRT) from university employment. Requiring loyalty oaths in public education is unconstitutional (Keyishian v. Board of Regents) and limits freedom of inquiry. Banning mandatory diversity statements would protect students and faculty against political indoctrination.
- End identitybased preferences: Regardless of how the Supreme Court decides Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, public university admission and employment should not discriminate based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.
As the authors describe in a new Wall Street Journal op-ed, these reforms do not limit what can or cannot be taught, but rather aim to cultivate greater freedom for professors, staff, and students in American public universities.