(USNewsMag.com) – Job applications for public universities in Arizona will no longer request diversity statements. According to the Goldwater Institute, job applicants were sometimes required to replace a cover letter with a two-page diversity statement about the applicant’s commitment to diversity, activism, or endorsement of concepts such as critical race theory.
A Goldwater Institute report from fall 2022 shows 28 percent of job postings required a diversity statement as a condition of being hired at Arizona State University. It also shows Northern Arizona University required a diversity statement for 73 percent of its job postings, while Arizona State University required a diversity statement for 81 percent of its job postings.
The Goldwater Institute stated that these requirements were not permissible under the U.S. Constitution, the First Amendment, or the Arizona State Constitution. According to the Arizona State Constitution, no Arizona public school can require teachers or students to take a “religious or political test” to qualify “as a condition of admission.”
While the diversity statement was not required by the Arizona Board of Regents, it may have been requested by “some departments at the universities.” The Arizona Board of Regents stated that “universities have discontinued any requests for such statements.”
Goldwater Institute president and CEO Victor Riches called the elimination of diversity statements a “huge victory for academic freedom and the First Amendment.”
Arizona is not the only state to stop requesting diversity statements for jobs at public universities. In February, North Carolina banned diversity statements. In March, diversity statements were eliminated from the hiring process in the University of Missouri system. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill in April that banned diversity statements and DEI offices across the state’s higher education institutions. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill in May that banned diversity statements and banned state and federal funding from being used for DEI programs at state universities. The legislation, HB 931, was modeled on a reform drafted by the Goldwater Institute.
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