Posted on December 14, 2023

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt Issues Order Removing DEI From State Agencies

Jenny Goldsberry, Washington Examiner, December 14, 2023

Gov. Kevin Stitt (R-OK) signed an executive order on Wednesday to remove diversity, equity, and inclusion offices from state agencies.

The order asks state employees to “eliminate and dismiss non-critical personnel” as the state will no longer fund DEI positions. It also goes on to prohibit mandated training or certification on the topic or any requirement to use preferred pronouns in government departments or public universities.

Stitt promised in an address earlier this year to shift from fewer DEI officers on campuses to more career counselors. He went on to say on X, formerly known as Twitter, that Oklahoma will “celebrate our diversity without the DEI bureaucracy.”

“Diversity is an asset that shouldn’t be abused to advance a political agenda,” Stitt wrote. “That’s why my executive order calls on state agencies and higher ed to review their DEI practices. We’re taking politics out of education and focusing on preparing students for the workforce.”

The order will not apply to student organizations that put on events, academic courses, already existing programs that provide access to students, or guest speakers. {snip} Still, universities expressed disagreement with the order.