University of Oregon promises to ignore Trump's critical race theory executive order

According ot a memo recently released by the University of Oregon titled 

“Committed to equity and inclusion work despite federal executive order,” the university said it plans to continue pushing its diversity agenda, despite President Donald Trump’s “Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping.” 

The executive order in question, released on September 22, states: “Therefore, it shall be the policy of the United States not to promote race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating in the Federal workforce or in the Uniformed Services, and not to allow grant funds to be used for these purposes. In addition, Federal contractors will not be permitted to inculcate such views in their employees.”

On Oct.16, University of Oregon President Michael Schill announced that the school would not comply with the spirit of the order.

“I am writing to let you know, unequivocally, that the recent executive order that seeks to ban federal contractors from discussing certain concepts during diversity training will not deter us from this important work,” he wrote. 

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: University of Oregon’s anti-racism plan considers defunding police, endorsing BLM, using diversity as employment factor]

Rejection of the executive order is but one of many recent “anti-racist” moves by the University of Oregon.

Campus Reform recently revealed an administration plan to discuss defunding the police, endorse Black Lives Matter, and use diversity as an employment factor. 

Campus Reform also recently reported on the university’s establishment of an $11 million anti-racist center, along with its use of the New York Times’ 1619 Project as its common reading for students in order to “reframe” American history. 

But according to the memo released by Schill, the university has been working on even more diversity initiatives over the span of multiple years.

“Over the past five years, we have, together, made real progress in combating systemic racism at the UO. For instance, we are working closely with the University Senate to review our curriculum around issues of equity and inclusion and have established the IDEAL framework, implemented Diversity Action Plans in each unit, responded to many of the changes demanded by the Black Student Task Force, and we continue to identify areas of opportunity to recognize and reconcile our diverse history. More recently, I appointed Nicole Commissiong to serve as our chief civil rights officer and Title IX Coordinator and her office will play an important role in this work as well. Just last week, Provost Patrick Phillips announced a series of initiatives to combat racism and enhance inclusion on campus, including a faculty hiring initiative connected to the creation of a new research and policy center focused on racial disparities and resilience.”

The “Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping” could threaten the university’s federal funding, if it continues to promote these types of trainings. Despite this, the administration appears to be moving forward with even more diversity initiatives. 

“Despite all of that, we have much more work to do. To paraphrase Patrick, the UO must be a leader in the effort to combat racism and promote inclusion, not an observer,” Schill explained in the memo. “That work will continue even in the face of challenges like the recent executive order.”

University of Oregon College Republicans Vice President Ben Ehrlich told Campus Reform that “federally funded institutions should follow an executive order issued by the president.”

“You can’t pick and choose which laws and executive orders you want to follow, especially with an institution like the University of Oregon,” Ehrlich said. 

Neither the University of Oregon nor Schill responded to Campus Reform’s request for comment in time for publication.

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