Universities pause, take closer look at diversity trainings after Trump executive order

The University of Iowa is pausing its diversity training to conform with President Donald Trump’s recent executive order.

Other schools, however, are standing in firm opposition to the president's executive order.

John A. Logan College is taking a closer look to see if it needs to take action as well.

The University of Iowa is pausing diversity, equity, and inclusion training by federal contractors and grantees in the wake of President Donald Trump’s recent executive order, “Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping.”

Interim Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Liz Tovar sent an email to the school’s president and council of deans on October 2 to announce the decision. 

“Let us state unequivocally that diversity, equity, and inclusion remain as core values within our institution,” wrote Tovar. “However, after consulting with multiple entities, and given the seriousness of the penalties for non-compliance with the order, which include the loss of federal funding, we are recommending that all units temporarily pause for a two-week period.”

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Tovar listed several programs that would temporarily be paused, including diversity, equity, and inclusion training for UI employees.

In a statement provided to The Daily Iowan by the university’s Office of Strategic Communication, the university stated that because it is a “government contractor and the recipient of federal grants,” it is “taking the necessary time to review the breadth of the order and understand the serious implications of noncompliance.”

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In May, the University of Iowa stated that it could face a $70 million loss due to COVID-19.

According to the university’s Office of the Vice President for Research, the school was awarded $346,721,973 in federal dollars received directly from a federal agency in 2020.

John A. Logan College in Carterville, Illinois has also suspended all campus diversity activities, according to The Southern Illinoisan.

The University of Michigan, however, released a statement opposing the order, giving no indication of halting the training. 

University of California law school deans released a similar statement, as Campus Reform previously reported

Calling its diversity and inclusion initiatives “critical to much-needed action to create equitable economic and social opportunities for all members of society,” UMich President Mark Schlissel said, “We are dismayed by an executive order that is a direct violation of our right to free speech and has the potential to undermine serious efforts to acknowledge and address long-standing racist practices that fail to account for disparate treatment of our citizens throughout our society.”

”The university will continue to examine the implications of this order and speak out against it...We declare our unwavering commitment toward actively dismantling all forms of structural oppression as well as constructing an environment where we treat each person with dignity and respect.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft