University of Arkansas to dismantle DEI division

Arkansas follows several other universities that have backed off DEI requirements.

The University of Arkansas announced it would dismantle the Division of DEI and reallocate resources and personnel elsewhere.

The University of Arkansas has announced that it is dissolving its Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and instead integrating DEI resources into broader university programming.

In an email to the community Tuesday, University Chancellor Charles F. Robinson said that the division’s resources and personnel will be split up into several departments across campus. The move comes as the state of Arkansas, and several states across the country, are working to defund and dismantle DEI in colleges and universities.

“Beginning this fall, existing resources and personnel currently assigned to the Division of DEI will be incorporated in Student Success, Student Affairs, Human Resources, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance and University Advancement so that these areas can expand programs around access, opportunity and developing a culture of belonging for all students and employees,” Robinson wrote. “Additionally, the Office of Equal Opportunity & Compliance will be formally aligned with Human Resources while also maintaining a direct reporting line to my office.”

“The strategic planning process has affirmed that supporting equal opportunity, access and belonging are critical to our land-grant mission and university values,” he added. “It is my belief based on my experience as having served as Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Provost – and now as Chancellor – that we can accomplish better outcomes by reallocating resources into these essential areas. We must strengthen our ability to achieve measurable results that enhance opportunity for all Arkansans.”

The University’s move comes in the middle of the nationwide fight against DEI bureaucracies and policies in higher education. State lawmakers and executive agencies in multiple states are moving to audit, defund, or dismantle DEI programs, as Campus Reform has previously reported:

  • A lawmaker in South Carolina floated the idea of an office specifically intended to go after colleges that spent money on DEI; he also claimed that lawmakers cut DEI funding in the state budget.

  • Lawmakers in Tennessee proposed a bill to eliminate DEI in professional education in medicine, mental health, and social work; it would require a standardized test for admission, subject admissions standards to review by the state government, and prohibits DEI requirements in matriculation, licensing, and hospitals and clinics.

  • West Virginia lawmaker introduced a bill to restrict DEI policies in state colleges and universities.

  • State officials in Oklahoma and Mississippi are in the process of auditing DEI departments in public colleges and universities.

  • In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis overhauled the board of the New College of Florida and released a sweeping agenda to stop DEI and other woke policies.

A growing number of colleges and universities have already eliminated DEI statement requirements for students and faculty, including the University of North Carolina; Texas Tech; Texas A&M; the University of Missouri; and the University of Iowa.

Campus Reform reached out to the University of Arkansas Chancellor’s Office and the Division of DEI for comment. This story will be updated accordingly.