The University of North Carolina has announced it will be ending diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) requirements from hiring practices after a recent Board of Governors meeting.
The board said that the university “shall neither solicit nor require an employee or applicant for academic admission or employment to affirmatively ascribe to or opine about beliefs, affiliations, ideals, or principles regarding matters of contemporary political debate or social action as a condition to admission, employment, or professional advancement,” according to the resolution cited by Fox News.
The resolution added that an employee or applicant cannot “be solicited or required to describe his or her actions in support of, or in opposition to, such beliefs, affiliations, ideals, or principles.”
It continued: “Practices prohibited here include but are not limited to solicitations or requirements for statements of commitment to particular views on matters of contemporary political debate or social action contained on applications or qualifications for admission or employment included as criteria for analysis of an employee’s career progression.”
UNC’s decision follows action by Color Us United, a nonprofit organization, that circulated a petition to push for the abolishment of DEI requirements.
“My organization, Color Us United, saw the requirement of diversity statements in the promotion and tenure of UNC Medical School faculty. These forced requirements stifle innovation and hurt the right of medical faculty to speak freely,” Kenny Xu, president of Color Us United, told National Review. “UNC’s decision to reverse this requirement is just a start to the end of ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’ in medical institutions, but it’s a welcome first step,” Xu told National Review on Saturday afternoon.”
Other universities and organizations are joining UNC in revising their DEI programs.
“We could see that this could be viewed as possibly exclusionary,” Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec said in a recent interview with CNN. “And so we wanted to step back and review the whole process.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sent out a letter earlier this month warning that “innocuous-sounding” DEI programs have been “manipulated to push policies that expressly favor some demographic groups to the detriment of others,” while adding a reminder that discrimination is a violation of federal and state law.
“Indeed, rather than increasing diversity in the workplace, these DEI initiatives are having the opposite effect and are being advanced in ways that proactively encourage discrimination in the workplace,” Abbott wrote.