Two campuses are halting diversity efforts in relation to the White House’s recent executive order against “divisive concepts” in federally funded programs.
In a campus memo, the University of Iowa’s interim associate vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion, Liz Tovar, said, “Let us state unequivocally that diversity, equity and inclusion remain as core values within our institution.” However, she continued, “after consulting with multiple entities, and given the seriousness of the penalties for non-compliance with the order, which include the loss of federal funding, we are recommending that all units temporarily pause for a two-week period.”
John A. Logan College in Illinois also suspended diversity events, including a Hispanic Heritage Month talk planned for next week.
In contrast, the University of Michigan’s president and provost released a statement in response to the order recommitting the campus to diversity, equity and inclusion work. “The educational efforts this order seeks to prohibit are critical to much-needed action to create equitable economic and social opportunities for all members of society,” they said, “to confront our blind spots; and to encourage us all to be better teachers, scholars and citizens.”
The executive order, released Sept. 22, invokes the Declaration of Independence, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. and describes the “fundamental premises underpinning our Republic” as follows: “All individuals are created equal and should be allowed an equal opportunity under the law to pursue happiness and prosper based on individual merit.”