Missouri and Iowa Legislators Introduce Campus Intellectual Diversity Bills

National Association of Scholars

We were delighted to note earlier this month that Arizona State Representative Anthony Kern (R) has filed HB 2238, a new bill designed to promote intellectual diversity at Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Arizona. HB 2238 closely reflects Stanley Kurtz’s model state-level intellectual diversity legislation, the Campus Intellectual Diversity Act (CIDA). CIDA was first published at NAS, and NAS swiftly endorsed it.

We are equally delighted to note that two more intellectual diversity bills modeled on CIDA have been introduced in Iowa and Missouri. Iowa State Representative Sandy Salmon has filed a campus intellectual diversity bill, H. F. 2185; while Missouri State Representative Mike Moon has filed another one, House Bill No. 2177.

Kurtz drafted CIDA in response to the growing trend on college campuses toward ideological homogeneity and activist “shout-downs.” Far too often, speakers with views that contradict progressive orthodoxy are invited to campus only to have their event canceled by student violence, or the threat of violence. Campuses frequently turn a blind eye to such incidents and thereby implicitly endorse cancel culture. This creates an echo chamber in which only progressive perspectives are considered acceptable. NAS believes that CIDA bills aimed at promoting diverse views on campus by establishing Office of Public Policy Events charged to “organize, publicize, and stage debates, group forums, and individual lectures that address, from multiple, diverging and opposing perspectives, an extensive range of public policy issues that are widely discussed and debated in society at large,” will ameliorate this widespread problem by requiring public universities to actively promote intellectual diversity.

NAS enthusiastically supports the CIDA bills in Arizona, Iowa, and Missouri. We hope the bills will become laws, and as swiftly as possible. And we hope that similar bills soon will be introduced in the other 47 states.

Photo by Ameer Basheer on Unsplash

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