DEI Hiring Statements No Longer Required In Arizona Universities

Arizona’s public universities will not request “diversity statements” on their job applications any longer – a move that free speech advocates are calling a “huge” win.

Most of the faculty job postings at Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona University required applicants to provide diversity statements as a condition of hiring, according to the Goldwater Institute.

According to the institute’s report, 28% of job postings at the University of Arizona required diversity statements, while 73% of job postings at Northern Arizona University required one, and 81% of job postings at Arizona State University required so-called diversity statements.

The Arizona Board of Regents, the governing body of all public universities in the state, said the board and some schools have never required Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) statements, but “some departments at the universities may have included a request for a DEI statement in a job application.”

The Board of Regents added that “the universities have discontinued any requests for such statements in job applications.”

“Some posted job applications that include a request for a DEI statement may still be found online and the universities are updating those job postings to remove the request for DEI statements,” the board continued.

The Goldwater Institute celebrated the striking down of the DEI requirement, arguing that such a requirement was unconstitutional under the First Amendment and Arizona’s state Constitution.

“This is a huge victory for academic freedom and the First Amendment,” Goldwater Institute President and CEO Victor Riches said. “The Goldwater Institute is continuing to show the nation how to defeat the destructive ideologies that are crippling colleges and universities.”

“DEI programs and ‘statements’ do not produce free expression nor more diversity of thought, equal opportunities, and a culture that includes everyone in school activities because DEI’s guiding principles are rooted in the racially discriminatory worldview known as critical race theory,” Goldwater Institute senior fellow Jonathan Butcher added.

DEI statements have been heavily attacked in several other states.

In April 2023, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed legislation banning diversity statements and funding for DEI programs at state universities.

In May 2023, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), like Abbott, signed a bill banning the use of diversity statements as well as any funding from going toward DEI programs at state universities.

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