Iowa’s 3 public universities ordered to pause new DEI programs


Dive Brief:

  • Iowa’s three public universities will pause implementation of new diversity, equity and inclusion programs at the behest of the state’s regent board, it announced this week.
  • Over the next few months, the governing board will study all DEI efforts at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa, Chair Michael Richards said in a statement Tuesday. The board ordered all pending DEI initiatives to be halted during that time.
  • Three regents will lead the evaluation and report any recommendations to the full board, Richards said.

Dive Insight:

The Iowa universities’ prohibition on DEI efforts comes as conservatives wage a campaign against them on a national scale.

Policymakers in states like Texas and Florida have pledged to eradicate DEI programs from public higher education, saying they have strayed from their original mission of lifting up historically marginalized groups in college. Both states have introduced legislative measures that would ban DEI efforts in public colleges.

And similarly to the Iowa universities, the University of Texas System last month stopped creation of new DEI policies.

Iowa lawmakers are considering legislation that would block regent-governing institutions from funding DEI offices or diversity-related administrative positions.


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