Posted on January 8, 2024

University of Utah President Says Diversity Statements Will No Longer Be Used in Hiring

Suzanne Bates, Deseret News, January 6, 2023

The University of Utah will no longer use diversity statements or questions in its hiring practices, the president of the school said in a statement sent out late Friday.

“In light of recent statements made by elected leaders and directives from the Utah Board of Higher Education to eliminate diversity questions or statements used in hiring at Utah’s higher education institutions, all hiring units at the university should discontinue the use of any type of diversity statements or similar practices as part of their unit-level applicant or employee hiring processes,” President Taylor Randall said in an email to administrators.

Randall was referring to statements made in December by Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, who said he thought it was “bordering on evil that we’re forcing people into a political framework before they can even apply for a job in the state.”

Cox also called DEI statements “very political,” during his televised PBS press conference last month, and said the Legislature planned to ban them — a move he supports. DEI stands for diversity, equity and inclusion.

The Utah Board of Higher Education followed up on the governor’s remarks by acknowledging some of Utah’s colleges and universities have used DEI statements or questions in their hiring processes.


Several Utah state lawmakers are considering legislation on the use of DEI on public college campuses, but details are not yet available. Utah Democrats have signaled they plan to fight the proposals.