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January 1, Senator Proposes Bill to Eliminate DEI Requirements in Public Universities



Folks, we’ve got a bit of a ruckus brewing in the Buckeye State. Ohio State Senator Jerry Cirino, a Republican, has been busy putting pen to paper, drafting a bill to do away with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) requirements in Ohio’s public universities.

The critics of Cirino’s bill argue that DEI training is a necessary measure to tackle what they perceive as systemic racism, using education to raise awareness of racial issues. But the supporters, including Cirino himself, view DEI practices as often violating laws that prohibit race-conscious decisions. They see these practices as forcing speech and painting America with a broad brush as inherently racist and oppressive.

This bill, folks, doesn’t stop at addressing DEI. It goes on to touch on various aspects of higher ed that could use a little sprucing up – from trustee terms to making syllabuses digitally searchable.

The crux of the bill is a section aiming to prevent any “mandatory programs or training courses regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

This means the bill seeks to bar institutions from compelling students, faculty, or administrators to take a particular stance on an ideology or a political issue as a condition of admission, hiring, or degree attainment.

Cirino’s bill also attempts to boost viewpoint diversity on campuses by encouraging institutions to invite speakers with diverse ideological and political views. Plus, it tries to nip cancel culture in the bud by asserting that universities should neither favor nor disfavor specific forms of speech or lawful assembly.

Lastly, the bill wants to put a stop to potential foreign influences in our education system. Specifically, it states that no Ohio institution of higher education should accept gifts or donations from the People’s Republic of China or any organization suspected to be working on their behalf.

Sounds like a commonsense approach, right? Well, surprise surprise- not everyone agrees. The bill has attracted flak from some professors and teachers unions. They claim it would require teaching controversial theories of race and civil rights. But the bill itself says otherwise, explicitly allowing professors to use their professional judgment about how to achieve intellectual diversity within their academic discipline.

All in all, folks, it seems like Senator Cirino has quite a battle on his hands. But if he’s right, this could be a crucial fight for the over half a million students attending Ohio’s institutions of higher education.


1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Michael Sarkies

    June 14, 2023 at 9:02 pm

    we need to pass that bill

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