Stitt signs EO to end DE&I at all state entities and higher education locations in Oklahoma

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The Univ of Oklahoma sent out the following message notifying all students and Alum that the DE&I dept at the Univ of Oklahoma had been shut down by the Gov

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Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed an anti-discrimination executive order, taking aim at Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion measures.

On Wednesday, Stitt signed Executive Order 2023-31. In a press release, the governor's office said the order would be "implementing greater protections for Oklahomans and their tax dollars against Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion."

"In Oklahoma, we’re going to encourage equal opportunity rather than promising equal outcomes," Stitt said. "Encouraging our workforce, economy, and education systems to flourish means shifting focus away from exclusivity and discrimination and toward opportunity and merit. We’re taking politics out of education and focusing on preparing students for the workforce."

The order will require state agencies and higher education institutes to review DEI positions, departments, activities, procedures and programs to "eliminate and dismiss non-critical personnel."


Additionally, state agencies and institutions will not be allowed to use state funds, property or resources for the following:

  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 swear, certify, or agree to any loyalty oath that favors or prefers one particular race, color, sex, ethnicity, or national origin over another;
    andate 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 to certify or declare agreement with, recognition of, or adherence to, any particular political, philosophical, religious, or other ideological viewpoint;
  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.










 
REACTION POURS IN TO OKLA. GOVERNOR'S DEI ORDER news9

Oklahoma State University's full statement:

"We are in the process of reviewing the executive order to ensure we meet our legal obligations while continuing to cultivate a welcoming environment for all students, faculty and staff."

The University of Oklahoma President Joseph Harroz Jr.'s full statement:

"Today, Oklahoma’s governor signed an executive order eliminating offices of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at all public higher education institutions in Oklahoma, including our own.
For many of us, this news evokes deep concern and uncertainty about the future, and in many ways, feels like a step backward. Please be assured that key to our ongoing successes as the state’s flagship university – now and forever – are the foundational values that have served as our constant north star: access and opportunity for all of those with the talent and tenacity to succeed, being a place of belonging for all who attend; dedication to free speech and inquiry; and civility in our treatment of each other.
These values transcend political ideology, and in them, we are unwavering.
Though we are obligated to comply with the governor’s executive order, we will remain committed to ensuring an education from the University of Oklahoma remains accessible and available to all, and we will continue to work to recruit and retain a workforce of talented and qualified minds that is representative of our state. In the coming weeks, we will issue further guidance on our compliance with this mandate while staying true to our values.
I urge our community to not let today’s development overshadow the monumental advancements we’ve made in uplifting Oklahoma as a more prosperous place for all. While many universities across the country are struggling, OU is flourishing. Our campuses are seeing unprecedented enrollment growth, we are championing our state’s economic development by bringing to market new research and technologies discovered by our esteemed faculty, and we are enriching the vibrant culture of our state through the arts and humanities, profoundly impacting the lives of every single Oklahoman.
Make no mistake: At OU, we stand firm in our promise to uphold the core principles that make our university a beacon where the American Dream is available to all. We know, too, that our students, university community, and the citizens of Oklahoma are resolute in their commitment to these values. Together, we will continue forward with care, intention, and an unyielding dedication to the principles that have always defined us. Together, we deserve nothing less.
Live On, University."

“Governor Kevin Stitt’s claim that ‘Oklahoma is open for business’ cannot be taken seriously by banning future business leaders from learning about diversity, equity, and inclusion on college campuses – and that is his goal. But every successful entrepreneur and Fortune 500 corporation has invested significant resources in recruiting and retaining the most qualified, diverse and inclusive pool of employees. The governor’s ban is a threat to every economic development strategy in Oklahoma and undermines the employability of business majors throughout Oklahoma. DEI is a mainstreamed way to learn how to strengthen our universities, economy, and preserve our democracy.” - Sen. Mary Boren, D-Norman

“This executive order is a clear sign that Governor Stitt has submitted to State Superintendent Ryan Walters’s agenda to attack public education and expel public education students from this state. This is an attack on support for first-generation students, students with disabilities, students who are veterans, international students, not to mention our countless students who are racially, culturally, religiously, and economically diverse. The governor may speak on behalf of the executive branch, but he doesn’t speak on behalf of the thousands of students served by programs and universities that value them for who they are.” - Rep. Jared Deck, D-Norman

“There is no executive order, no legislation, no political catchphrase, that can stop actual diversity. Nothing can stop it. Trying to swindle college kids out of their opportunity to interact with and understand that diversity is absurd and futile. Additionally, this action will have a negative impact on faculty and staff at our universities but also on students with disabilities, international students, veterans, and so many others who rely on these services to support their education. As state leaders we should be invested in preparing our students for the realities of the workplace they’ll one day join, not using them to score some cheap political points with a handful of extremists.” - Rep. Annie Menz, D-Norman

“Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies are put in place to deter discrimination of marginalized communities. The fact that the governor sees this in reverse further illustrates the fact that he's not experienced true discrimination. We need to let our universities lead the way and work towards better educating all students.” – Rep. Trish Ranson, D-Stillwater
“Governor Stitt seems to only listen to his far-right base when he attacks equity, which means being fair and impartial; inclusion, meaning giving equal access to resources for people who might otherwise be left out; and diversity, which means people from different social and ethnic backgrounds, different genders, sexual orientations, etc. I wonder if he even cares that this wrong-headed executive order will have a chilling effect on the Oklahoma economy. Corporations looking to invest in Oklahoma will continue to pass us over for more forward-thinking and innovative states which respect the diverse world in which we all live.” - Rep. Jacob Rosecrants, D-Norman
 
KFOR said the DEI expense is only 3 tenths of 1% of the higher education budget. I'd sooner the governor focus back on something that will help everybody, such as repealing the state sales tax on food. He has had a hard time trying to get some leading Republican legislators to get it done. I judge politicians on how what they say or do will make my life better or that of friends and relatives. Sometimes politicians just need to leave well enough alone.

I'd love this to backfire big time on Stitt by some undesirable group deciding to hold a meeting in Oklahoma, such as KKK, citing Oklahoma DEI rejection.
 
You guys are making too much of this.. here is the OSU response.

Yesterday, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt issued an executive order regarding diversity, equity and inclusion programs in state government and higher education. While we will ensure we meet our legal obligations, an initial review indicates that no significant changes to our processes or practices are needed.

OSU faculty, staff and students are guided by the Cowboy Code, which invigorates us with a “passion to do what’s right,” and united in the Cowboy Culture, which demands that “we treat every individual with dignity and respect and recognize that differences can serve to strengthen and enrich the fabric of life.” Those fundamental commitments will not change.

We are committed to supporting our students, faculty and staff and want everyone to know they are a valued member of the Cowboy family.

Dr. Kayse Shrum
President, Oklahoma State University

That's the way you do it.
 
You guys are making too much of this.. here is the OSU response.

Yesterday, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt issued an executive order regarding diversity, equity and inclusion programs in state government and higher education. While we will ensure we meet our legal obligations, an initial review indicates that no significant changes to our processes or practices are needed.

OSU faculty, staff and students are guided by the Cowboy Code, which invigorates us with a “passion to do what’s right,” and united in the Cowboy Culture, which demands that “we treat every individual with dignity and respect and recognize that differences can serve to strengthen and enrich the fabric of life.” Those fundamental commitments will not change.

We are committed to supporting our students, faculty and staff and want everyone to know they are a valued member of the Cowboy family.

Dr. Kayse Shrum
President, Oklahoma State University

That's the way you do it.
I agree that's the way you do it, but I suspect that Gov. Stitt and others of his ilk might disagree with "respect and recognize that differences can serve to strengthen and enrich the fabric of life" and view that as some type of a "quota statement" about having to have or attempting to obtain diversity within the school.

Heck, Dr. Shrum's statement is what every single DEI class I have ever attended taught.
 
Oklahoma schools chief to announce plan to ban DEI in Sooner State's public schools
State superintendent: 'What we’ve seen is the most radical, [Marxists] push woke ideology through DEI programs'

 
Oklahoma schools chief to announce plan to ban DEI in Sooner State's public schools
State superintendent: 'What we’ve seen is the most radical, [Marxists] push woke ideology through DEI programs'

Bigots will be bigots.
 
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