Universities Nondiscrimination Act

Introduction

Higher education institutions should evaluate individuals on the basis of their academic merit, with no regard for race, ethnicity, sex, or membership in any other identity group, to provide equality of opportunity for all individual American citizens. Unfortunately, colleges and universities have resorted to race and sex discrimination in admissions, hiring, promotion, tenuring, and funding decisions, now usually justified as measures to achieve diversityequity, or inclusion. Entire subunits of higher academic administration, especially Title IX offices and offices of diversity, appear to suffer from extreme discrimination in their staffing. Existing nondiscrimination federal law is largely a dead letter. State policymakers must pass and enforce their own nondiscrimination laws to prevent universities from discriminating.

Especially since 2020, higher education institutions also have incorporated Critical Race Theory into their administrative policies, especially in their trainings of personnel. State policymakers must explicitly bar these trainings to prevent universities from discriminating by race and sex among their faculty, staff, and students.

Universities frequently lie about the discriminatory effects of their policies in college admissions. Policymakers and citizens need publicly available data to make clear exactly how great are the effects of these discriminatory policies.

Colleges also have established a growing system of informal “neosegregation,” buttressed by effectively segregated events and academic subunits such as orientations, majors, financial awards, residential housing, administrative employment, faculty employment, student training, extracurricular activities, and graduations. State policymakers should prohibit neosegregation.

More broadly, the politicized bureaucracies that have seized control of higher education—notably offices of civic engagement, community engagement, diversity, equity, inclusion, multiculturalism, residential life, retention, student life, student success, sustainability, and Title IX—believe they should commit these forms of discrimination. Their larger campaign to eliminate freedoms of speech, religion, and association is largely to eliminate criticism of their discriminatory policies. State policymakers cannot restore freedom to higher education until they have removed these bureaucracies’ power to discriminate. Policymakers need to present these bureaucrats with a stark choice between ceasing to discriminate or ceasing to receive funding.

Our model bill restores nondiscrimination to higher education by prohibiting a broad range of means that activists have used to discriminate by race and sex among faculty, staff, and students (Section A). We adapt our model Partisanship Out of Civics Act (POCA) to higher education by prohibiting discriminatory concepts in administrative trainings and avoiding mention of classroom teaching, so as to avoid raising questions of academic freedom (Section B). Our model bill requires higher education institutions to publicize statistics that will make clear how much they discriminate among students in college admissions (Section C), and prohibits policies designed explicitly to segregate faculty, staff, or students by group identities (Section D).

Higher education administrations cannot be trusted to enforce this act, unless 1) an independent official is present on campus to enforce compliance; and 2) state policymakers can threaten credible budgetary sanctions for noncompliance. Proper enforcement of this model bill therefore requires the passage of the Ombudsman Act and the College Finances Act.

Model Legislative Text

Section A [“Nondiscrimination Requirements”]

  1. The {Board of Regents} of the {State} public university system, each institution of higher education that receives state funding, and each school, office, and department within each institution of higher education that receives state funding, shall affirm and guarantee that they will treat all faculty, staff, and students as individuals, hold every individual to equal standards, and provide every individual with equality of opportunity, and that they shall not treat, classify, advantage, disadvantage, or segregate any faculty, staff, or students by membership in groups defined by characteristics such as race, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
  2. The {Board of Regents} of the {State} public university system, each institution of higher education that receives state funding, and each school, office, and department within each institution of higher education that receives state funding, shall affirm and guarantee that they will provide no advantage or disadvantage on the basis of membership in groups defined by characteristics such as race, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression in admissions, hiring, promotion, tenuring, workplace conditions, or any other program, policy, or activity .
  3. The {Board of Regents} of the {State} public university system, each institution of higher education that receives state funding, and each school, office, and department within each institution of higher education that receives state funding, may not fund, facilitate, or provide any support to any position, material benefit, policy, program, and activity that advantages or disadvantages faculty, staff, or students by any group identity, except that the {Board of Regents} of the {State} public university system, and each institution of higher education that receives state funding, may advantage citizens of the United States or citizens of {State}. Positions, material benefits, policies, programs, and activities that may not receive funding, facilitation, or any type of support shall include:

A. All forms of employment, including staff positions, internships, and work studies;

B. All material benefits, including fellowships, grants, loans, prizes, scholarships, and tuition remissions;

C. All policies, including mission statements, hiring policies, promotion policies, and tenure policies; 

D. All programs, including deaneries, provostships, offices, programs, residence halls, and committees; and

E. All activities, including those conducted by the administrative units of orientation, first-year experience, student life, and residential life.

  1. Each institution of higher education shall post prominently on its Internet website, and deliver to the {Board of Regents} of the {State} public university system, an annual report of all violations of the Individual Opportunity Act committed by anyone under its jurisdiction and of all consequent disciplinary sanctions. The information posted on the institution’s Internet website must be accessible from the institution’s Internet website home page by use of not more than three links; searchable by keywords and phrases; and accessible to the public without requiring registration or use of a user name, a password, or another user identification.

Section B [“Discriminatory Trainings Prohibition”]

  1. The {Board of Regents} of the {State} public university system, each institution of higher education that receives state funding, and each school, office, and department within each institution of higher education that receives state funding, may not train any administrator, teacher, staff member, or employee to adopt or believe any of the following concepts: 

A. one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex;

B. an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously;

C. an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of the individual’s race;

D. members of one race cannot or should not attempt to treat others without respect to race;

E. an individual’s moral standing or worth is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex;

F. an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex;

G. an individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex;

H. meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist, or were created by members of a particular race to oppress members of another race; or

I. fault, blame, or bias should be assigned to a race or sex, or to members of a race or sex because of their race or sex. 

  1. Each institution of higher education shall implement a range of disciplinary sanctions for anyone under its jurisdiction who authorizes or engages in a training prohibited in Section A, Subsection 1.
  2. Each institution of higher education shall post prominently on its Internet website, and deliver to the {Board of Regents} of the {State} public university system, an annual report of all violations of the Partisanship Out of Colleges Act committed by anyone under its jurisdiction and of all consequent disciplinary sanctions. The information posted on the institution’s Internet website must be accessible from the institution’s Internet website home page by use of not more than three links; searchable by keywords and phrases; and accessible to the public without requiring registration or use of a user name, a password, or another user identification.

Section C [“Discrimination Transparency”]

The {Board of Regents} of the {State} public university system, and each institution of higher education that receives state funding, shall post on its Internet website an annual report of statistics on the academic qualifications of accepted and matriculating students, differentiated by race and sex. These statistics shall include information correlating students’ academic qualifications and retention rates, differentiated by race and sex. The information posted on the institution’s Internet website must be accessible from the institution’s Internet website home page by use of not more than three links; searchable by keywords and phrases; and accessible to the public without requiring registration or use of a user name, a password, or another user identification.

Section D [“Segregation Prohibitions”]

The {Board of Regents} of the {State} public university system, each institution of higher education that receives state funding, and each school, office, and department within each institution of higher education that receives state funding, shall prohibit all policies designed explicitly to segregate faculty, staff, or students by group identities such as race, sex, gender identity, or gender expression, including in orientations, majors, financial awards, residential housing, administrative employment, faculty employment, student training, extracurricular activities, and graduations.

Section E [“Severability”]

If any provision of this chapter, or the application of any provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid, the remainder of this chapter and the application of its provisions to any other person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby.

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