House votes to restrict DEI programs at Iowa, ISU and UNI

DES MOINES — Tuition hikes would be capped and diversity, equity and inclusion programs would be restricted at Iowa’s public universities, under a bill passed by the Iowa House on Thursday.

The bill would add two lawmakers to the Board of Regents as non-voting members, and it would make other changes to higher education policies, including some the universities have already set in motion.

Republican Representative Taylor Collins of Mediapolis says the regents spend too much on DEI initiatives:

“This bill stops the pursuit of these distractions and ideological agendas, reorients the focus of our higher education system back to the pursuit of academic excellence which should’ve been the point from the start,” Collins says, “controls the ever-rising cost of higher education, and gives this body increased oversight over the regent enterprise.”

All Democrats and six Republicans opposed the bill. Democrats say they support capping tuition hikes, but this bill doesn’t help the universities make up for lost revenue.

They also say Republicans are politicizing DEI efforts, and that’ll have negative impacts on Iowa’s future workforce.