Breaking Campus News. Launching Media Careers.
‘DEI must die’: Nebraska bill would ban university diversity pledges

Legislation comes amid complaints from conservative students, professors

“DEI must die,” according to Nebraska State Senator Dave Murman.

The Glenvil Republican (pictured) is the lead sponsor of Legislative Bill 1330, which would prohibit public colleges and universities from requiring employees to participate in “diversity, equity, and inclusion” programs or sign contracts requiring support for it. It also would ban spending tax dollars on DEI programs.

DEI “naturally creates a culture of divisiveness” and in order “to create a more united culture, DEI must die,” Murman told The College Fix via email.

He said the concept of giving “preferential treatment to certain people based on the color of their skin” also goes against his morality “as a follower of Christ.”

“DEI tells us if you are this race, gender, or sexuality, you are either an oppressor or oppressed,” Murman said.

His bill is similar to legislation that already is being implemented in Texas and Florida, and other states like Kentucky and Alabama are considering.

University of Nebraska spokeswoman Melissa Lee told The Fix last week the university is “opposed to LB1330 because we are concerned about how it impacts the Board of Regents’ constitutional authority to govern the university.”

“We want every student to have the opportunity to come to the University of Nebraska, be successful and start their dreams right here in Nebraska,” Lee said.

Although Republicans hold the majority in the unicameral state legislature, Murman told The Fix his bill does face challenges.

“We have to remember that the establishment in higher education lobbies so hard so we should remember that this is an uphill battle,” he said.

However, Murman said he has received strong support for the legislation, with “some of the most meaningful” being from professors in the state who “are deeply opposed to the DEI agenda but are concerned about the risks of speaking out against the policies of their place of employment.”

MORE: Outrage erupts after Alabama Senate OKs bill to ban DEI

Douglas Kagan, president of Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom, told The Fix his organization supports LB1330 because “taxpayers should not have to pay for DEI curricula or training.”

Kagan said the 2023-2024 state budget “balloons with DEI expenditures.”

“Over $1.1 million for the Innovation Campus Office of Diversity & Inclusion. UNMC Faculty Diversion Funding totaled $1.7 million. UN-O Campus Student Inclusion over $332,000. UNO Chief Diversity Officer paid $192,172,” according to Kagan’s testimony during a Feb. 13 legislative hearing, which he shared with The Fix.

Kagan told The Fix he hears many conservative students complaining about being discriminated against through DEI programs.

“Instead of encouraging a cooperative atmosphere of togetherness, [DEI] teaches people to exclude those who do not share their perspectives on diversity and other issues,” he said.

The bill currently is being considered in the Senate Committee of Higher Education.

Soon after Murman introduced his bill in January, The Free Press reported evidence of discrimination against employees with conservative views at the University of Nebraska.

John Sailer, a senior fellow with the National Association of Scholars, “reviewed every diversity recruitment report created by the school over the last four years,” and found “DEI has been central to hiring decisions” in many programs, including the UN College of Engineering.

The university’s evaluation rubric gave good marks to job candidates “who identify and discuss ‘intersectional aspects of diversity’ — while punishing those who fail to ‘distinguish inclusion from diversity,’” according to Sailer’s article in The Free Press.

Murman told The Fix investigations like these are important; however, without laws to prohibit DEI and “require meritocracy,” Nebraska will see “these practices continue.”

MORE: Federal bill would stop universities from imposing DEI pledges on staff

IMAGE: Sen. Dave Murman

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

Please join the conversation about our stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, MeWe, Rumble, Gab, Minds and Gettr.

More Articles from The College Fix

About the Author
Emily Marin -- St. Philip’s College