Arizona drops DEI statements from all university job applications

The decision followed a report from the Goldwater Institute which found that 80% of job openings at public universities had a DEI component.

The Arizona Board of Regents announced it would remove diversity, equity, and inclusion statements from state school job applications.

The Arizona Board of Regents plans to remove diversity, equity, and inclusion statements from state school job applications following a report from a conservative think tank.

The Goldwater Institute’s report, entitled: “The New Loyalty Oaths: How Arizona’s Public Universities Compel Job Applicants to Endorse Progressive Politics,” found that applications for up to 80% of job openings from the state’s publicly funded schools include a DEI component.

The organization called for the elimination of such statements, which it referred to as “ideological screens.” 

“It is imperative, therefore, that the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) and/or state lawmakers protect faculty, students and applicants from these tests by prohibiting their use in Arizona university operations in a manner similar to the Institute’s model policy solution,” the Institute said.

[Related: REPORT: The faculty DEI statement is ‘The New Loyalty Oath’]

This “model policy solution” refers to a four-part plan devised by the Goldwater Institute called the “Stop Critical Race Theory and Racial Discrimination in Public Schools Act,” the second part of which is titled “Prohibiting the Use of Diversity Statements as Political Tests in the Hiring of Public Employees.”

The state seems to be adopting this policy, at least in part, as DEI statements will no longer be part of the hiring process at any of its publicly funded institutions.

In a statement to the Arizona Republic, the Board of Regents denied that the DEI pledges were ever a required component of applications, but several job postings seem to dispute this. In its report, the Goldwater Institute mentioned openings for assistant teaching professors of mechanical engineering and geography at Northern Arizona University that required applicants to submit “a statement of teaching philosophy including evidence of teaching effectiveness or interest and commitment to diversity and inclusion.”

[Related: University system drops DEI statements, rubric from hiring process]

A May job posting for a postdoctoral research scholar at Arizona State University asked applicants to write “A statement addressing how your past and/or present potential contributions to diversity and inclusion will advance ASU’s commitment to inclusive excellence.”

The Goldwater Institute celebrated the decision in an August 8 press release. “This is a huge victory for academic freedom and the First Amendment,” 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.”

Arizona is not the first state to do away with these required statements. Campus Reform previously reported on Texas’s recent abolition of the practice with the passage of Senate Bill 17.

All parties mentioned herein have been contacted for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

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