An Iowa House bill is looking to prevent diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) offices at public higher education institutions, which the bill’s supporters claim is necessary for boosting academic excellence.
House File 616 prohibits a public institution of higher education from expending funds appropriated by the general assembly or any other funds to “establish, sustain, support, or staff” a DEI office or to “contract, employ, engage, or hire an individual” to serve as a DEI officer.
However, the bill does not apply to courses, or research done by an institution’s students or faculties, and guest speakers on these topics. DEI policies, training, and practices that are required “pursuant to a contract or agreement with a federal government entity” are also exempt from the bill’s purview.
“It’s happening—we will dismantle the DEI bureaucracy and return Iowa’s higher education institutions’ focus back to academic excellence,” Rep. Taylor Collins, a Republican, said in a Feb. 28 tweet. The bill was passed by the House Education Committee on March 1.
Read more: Iowa Seeking to Ban Diversity Offices in Higher Education