Following urgings from the Goldwater Institute, a Phoenix-based conservative think tank, the Arizona Board of Regents announced Tuesday that it has eliminated requirements for diversity, equity and inclusion statements in university job postings, The Arizona Republic reported.
The announcement came about a month after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against race-conscious admissions policies and on the heels of legislative sessions in some states that sought to ban diversity, equity and inclusion programs at colleges and universities. A bill that would have eliminated DEI training for employees at Arizona’s higher education institutions narrowly failed this year.
The Phoenix newspaper quoted a spokesperson for the Board of Regents as saying that DEI statements have “never” been required, but a report by the Goldwater Institute seems to contradict that. The report, “The New Loyalty Oaths: How Arizona’s Public Universities Compel Job Applicants to Endorse Progressive Politics,” combed job listings at Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona and concluded that “up to 80 percent of faculty job openings now force applicants to pledge support for progressive, racialized notions of ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion.’”
One example includes a listing for a geography teaching position NAU posted last fall. The job application asked for “a statement of teaching philosophy including evidence of teaching effectiveness or interest and commitment to diversity and inclusion (recommended two pages).”
Some university job applications may still include a “request” for a DEI statement right now, but according to Sarah Harper, spokesperson for the board, “universities are updating those job postings to remove the request for DEI statements.”
The Goldwater Institute issued a news release Tuesday, celebrating the board’s decision as striking a “death blow against the use of political litmus tests in Arizona’s public universities.”