LGBTQ+ Faculty Are Leaving Universities Over Anti-DEI Laws

LGBTQ+ Faculty Are Leaving Universities Over Anti-DEI Laws

A new report from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law has revealed the challenges LGBTQ+ faculty are facing in higher education as many of them consider leaving their posts.

LGBTQ+ faculty at colleges and universities nationwide are growing tired of the lack of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) laws protecting them from discrimination at work, especially in states like Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and more that have tried to dismantle DEI laws.

The crack down on DEI laws across the United States has included limiting funding for DEI initiatives, preventing mandatory DEI training for faculty, and banning particular curriculum with LGBTQ+ themes, according to The Advocate. These laws often target teachings on critical race theory or gender studies. 

The research reports that faculty members are finding the new anti-DEI environment has “negatively impacted what they teach, how they interact with students, their research on LGBTQ+-related issues, and how out they are on campus and in their communities.” 

All participants reported that they included LGBTQ+ issues or topics in their research or teachings. Additionally, a majority of participants’ teachings and research were impacted by DEI legislation; this included race and racism, sexuality and gender studies, and transgender issues. 

Many faculty have been reported by students for violating anti-DEI laws, and some have experienced harassment on campus because of their sexual identity or views on LGBTQ+ identities. 

As a result, the study indicates almost half of LGBTQ+ faculty members have or are considering relocating to another state to avoid the implementation of these laws. Around 20% have shared that they are actively making plans to relocate, and 36% have considered leaving academia completely. 

Almost 75% of those surveyed, who teach at public universities have claimed the anti-DEI laws have detrimentally affected their mental and physical health, as both employers and students have closely scrutinized their every move. 

Should LGBTQ+ faculty at high education institutions around the country continue to face these struggles, the consequences could mean a lack of LGBTQ+ representation where it is needed, and a lack of proper education across various fields of study. 

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