Iowa Board of Regents halts all DEI programs, pending 'comprehensive' review

The state’s Board of Regents wrote, '[o]ver the next few months, the Board of Regents will initiate a comprehensive study and review of all Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs.'

Iowa is the latest among institutions halting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programming. 

In a Tuesday statement,  the state’s Board of Regents wrote, “Over the next few months, the Board of Regents will initiate a comprehensive study and review of all Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs and efforts at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.”

The announcement follows similar steps taken by the Board of Governors in North Carolina. 

Last month, UNC Board of Governors voted to ban DEI statement requirements from its hiring and admissions practices.  

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

“Requiring a statement from an employee or applicant for academic admission or employment to demonstrate an ideological commitment cuts against the constitutional rights afforded within the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” General Counsel to the UNC System Andrew Tripp argued

Both Texas A&M University system and the University of Houston System (UHS) banned DEI statements in faculty hiring as well. 

Texas A&M’s announcement was posted to Twitter, where several users expressed their support for the ban. 

The announcement from UHS came from the system chancellor, Renu Khator, in a university-wide email, as reported by The Houston Chronicle. 

“In order to ensure compliance with state and federal law, we will not support or use DEI statements or factors in hiring or promotion anywhere in the University of Houston System,” a statement from the chancellor reads. 

Governor Ron DeSantis has set the example in overhauling universities’ DEI practices and programs. 

From DEI bans at New College to calling out universities for “significantly misreport[ing] and under-report[ing]” DEI spending, Florida’s DEI programs have experienced the sharpest cuts. 

Governor DeSantis, in fact, has made blocking DEI a hallmark of his time in office. Just recently, for example, he called DEI a “Scam,” and shared the following on Twitter: 

In Iowa, while the state’s Board of Regents review DEI polices, the state legislature is challenging the Board’s authority to consider DEI altogether as a bill that would ultimately eliminate DEI programs and initiatives is being considered.

If passed, House File 616 would prohibit “institutions of higher learning governed by the state board of regents from expanding moneys to fund [DEI] offices or to hire individuals to serve as [DEI] officers.” 

[RELATED: University of North Carolina eliminates DEI statements for faculty, students]

John Sailer, Senior Fellow and Director of University Policy at National Association of Scholars, posted about the Iowa Board of Regents announcement. 

One user responded saying “Good,” and another wrote, “May these continue.” 

Another retweeted Sailer’s post, adding “excellent news.” 

Campus Reform contacted the Iowa Board of Regents. Best efforts were made to contact the Twitter users mentioned. This article will be updated accordingly. 

Follow Jared Gould on Twitter.