Utah lawmaker points to University of Utah job postings in push against ‘diversity statements’

Laura Seitz, Deseret News Rep. Katy Hall, R-South Ogden, is pictured on the House floor on Jan. 26, 2022. She points to certain postings for University of Utah jobs, in particular, in her plans to craft legislation for the 2024 session that prohibits “diversity statements.” While a Utah lawmaker fine-tunes a legislative proposal aimed at “diversity statements,” she has released samples of job postings that require the sort of thing she’s targeting. Utah Rep. Katy Hall , R-South Ogden, isn’t talking at length about her proposal since it remains a work in progress. Her proposed legislation last year on the same topic — a growing area of concern among some conservative lawmakers across the country — ultimately stalled . But she supplied KSL.com with links to six online job postings, including five posted by the University of Utah, that contain the sort of language she and others, including Gov. Spencer Cox , find objectionable. The University of Utah “definitely has the most,” she said, estimating that 15%-20% of job postings from the state’s flagship university contain language asking applicants to supply statements related to diversity, equity and inclusion. Cox raised the profile of the issue during a press conference last month when he decried what he said were requirements that would-be employees of the state and public universities sign “diversity statements.” Coming amid growing backlash by some conservatives against diversity, equity and inclusion programs at universities, meant to help students of color thrive in a university setting, he indicated that such statements push job candidates to adopt a certain viewpoint. After the 2024 legislation session “it won’t be happening in the state of Utah, these diversity statements that you have to sign to get hired,” he said. “I think it is awful, bordering on evil, that we’re forcing people […]

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By Donato