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Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt Takes Down the DEI Bureaucracy



Today, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed an Executive Order 2023-31, to put an end to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) bureaucracy in Oklahoma’s government.


For years, universities and government agencies, even those in red states, have become increasingly beholden to a coercive liberal agenda, often framed under the banner of DEI.


Earlier this year, the Supreme Court correctly ruled that the use of affirmative action in college admissions violates the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution. Oklahoma is taking the next step by curtailing political coercion and ending identity-based preferences in all government employment.


"CPAC applauds Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt for acting through executive order today to take down DEI in all of Oklahoma’s government. Abolishing DEI bureaucracies and ending mandatory 'diversity' training and DEI hiring statements will ensure Oklahoma’s institutions can focus on the diversity of ideas, rather than shame-based political activism. Oklahomans can take pride in knowing that the content of their character will matter more than the color of their skin." - David Safavian, CPAC Executive Vice President.


This executive order is also necessary to combat bureaucratic bloat. For example, public colleges in Oklahoma have spent at least $83.4 million on DEI in the last decade. Additionally, Oklahoma State University currently employs nearly double the amount of staff in their DEI bureaucracy as it does history professors.


These reforms are not just administrative adjustments; they represent a paradigm shift towards a more academically rigorous higher education system and more efficient state government. State legislatures around the country should follow Oklahoma’s lead to ensure that their public universities remain bastions of learning and free thought and their government agencies become unencumbered by ideological biases based on woke political agendas.


DETAILS:

The order requires state agencies and institutes for higher education to initiate a review of DEI positions, departments, activities, procedures, and programs to eliminate and dismiss non-critical personnel. State agencies and institutions for higher education shall not utilize state funds, property, or resources to:

  1. Grant or support diversity, equity, and inclusion positions, departments, activities, procedures, or programs to the extent they grant preferential treatment based on one person’s particular race, color, sex, ethnicity, or national origin over another’s;

  2. mandate any person to participate in, listen to, or receive any education, training, activities, procedures, or programming to the extent such education, training, activity, or procedure grants preferences based on one person’s particular race, color, sex, ethnicity, or national origin over another’s;

  3. mandate any person swear, certify, or agree to any loyalty oath that favors or prefers one particular race, color, sex, ethnicity, or national origin over another;

  4. mandate any person to certify or declare agreement with, recognition of, or adherence to, any particular political, philosophical, religious, or other ideological viewpoint;

  5. mandate any applicant for employment provide a diversity, equity, and inclusion statement or give any applicant for employment preferential consideration based on the provision of such a diversity, equity, and inclusion statement; or

  6. mandate any person to disclose their pronouns.


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