Press Release: Report Finds Utah’s Civics Mandate Is Undermined by Growing DEI Bureaucracy

National Association of Scholars

New York, NY; June 23, 2022 – The National Association of Scholars (NAS) has released a new report examining the state of civics education in Utah’s six public universities. Educating for Citizenship: The Utah Case Study finds that Utah’s law requiring students at public universities to study American history and government fails to guarantee a robust civics education for all students.

The limited education that the students do receive is easily overpowered by the anti-American ideology imposed top-down by university administrators through mandatory diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Utah’s single-course “American Institutions” requirement lacks the strength necessary to counter this programming and restore students’ understanding and appreciation of their national heritage.

“DEI programming has taken hold of Utah’s system of higher education,” report author and NAS Research Associate John Sailer stated. “It functions as a rival civics education within Utah’s universities—an anti-civics devoted to the radical transformation of the American republic.”

NAS is committed to ensuring that every student who attends a public university receives the education necessary to fulfill his duties as a citizen. Educating for Citizenship: The Utah Case Study is the second in a three-part series that examines how public universities in three different states teach American history and civics. The first report, exploring Arizona’s universities, was published earlier this month, and the final installment will be released next week.

“Public universities have a civic mission that they are obligated to fulfill alongside their broader educational mission,” Sailer continued. “Although Utah’s state legislature made attempts to guarantee that the state’s universities fulfill their civic mission, university administrators have undermined their efforts at every turn. It’s time to add teeth to the existing law and take aim at the DEI regime.”

The report concludes with a series of recommendations designed to strengthen the existing civics education mandate and to curtail the DEI bureaucracy. These reforms include requiring more civics education courses; creating robust course guidelines to ensure that the courses are worthwhile; implementing new policies to protect freedom of conscience and promote transparency; and establishing an office to enforce academic freedom. If Utah policymakers hope to enact real change in their higher education system, these reforms are the place to start.

NAS is a network of scholars and citizens united by a commitment to academic freedom, disinterested scholarship, and excellence in American higher education. Membership in NAS is open to all who share a commitment to these broad principles. NAS publishes a journal and has state and regional affiliates. Visit NAS at www.nas.org.

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If you would like more information, contact Chance Layton at [email protected]


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