Iowa Board of Regents Votes to Curtail DEI in State Universities

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) took a hit in Iowa when the state’s Board of Regents voted to curtail the practice in its university system.

In June, Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill establishing a Board of Regents “commission to review Iowa’s DEI activities and recommend necessary changes,” according to National Review. After meeting over the summer, the board recently approved ten recommendations that would essentially reverse the DEI phenomenon in universities.

The recommendations include eliminating university-wide “DEI functions that are not necessary for compliance or accreditation” and reviewing “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.” It also calls for the review and possible elimination of “services provided by offices currently supporting diversity or multicultural affairs in other divisions of the university to ensure they are available to all students.” Per the National Review:

Notably, the steps the Board of Regents have adopted also include ensuring that employees, students, applicants, and campus visitors are not required to submit DEI statements or “be evaluated based on participation in DEI initiatives” unless the position is one required for “DEI-related compliance or accreditation.”

The new rules also prohibit Iowa’s public universities from requiring that employees, students, applicants, or campus visitors provide their preferred pronouns.

The cause of DEI suffered a major setback in 2023 when the Supreme Court voted to overturn affirmative action (racial preferences) in college admissions. As Breitbart News reported:

While the Fourteenth Amendment applies only to state governments — which includes state and local public universities — Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also extends racial discrimination to institutions that accept federal tax money, such as in grants and tuition aid. That applies to almost every private university.

Students For Fair Admission filed a number of lawsuits against public and private schools. The Supreme Court eventually took two of them: a challenge to the admissions policy of the University of North Carolina (UNC) under the Fourteenth Amendment and a challenge to Harvard’s policy under Title VI.

The Supreme Court held 6-3 that UNC’s policy is unconstitutional and held the same regarding Harvard’s policy by a 6-2 vote. (Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson recused herself from the Harvard case.) Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, joined by all the conservative and moderate justices.

Former President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court appointees — Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett — voted with the majority.

Paul Roland Bois directed the award-winning feature film EXEMPLUM, which can be viewed for FREE on YouTube or Tubi. A high-quality, ad-free stream can also be purchased on Google Play or Vimeo on Demand. Follow him on Twitter @prolandfilms or Instagram @prolandfilms.

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