Collis Temple III, Chair of the Louisiana Board of Regents, has defended diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) measures on college campuses in a statement released on Tuesday. Amid attempts by Republicans to ban such measures, Temple emphasized the importance of equitable access to higher education to achieve the state's goal of a postsecondary degree or credential for 60% of working-age adults.
Temple argued that DEI measures are not forces of division but practical tools that enable every individual to reach their full potential. He emphasized that learners must have the opportunity to chart their path to success in an atmosphere of respect for all differences. By doing so, individuals can strengthen themselves and their communities while benefiting the state as a whole.
Louisiana's higher education leaders are preparing to go on the defensive to protect DEI measures in the face of opposition. The Republican State Central Committee recently passed a resolution calling for a ban on DEI measures on college campuses, while a separate resolution calling for Louisiana's colleges and universities to report their DEI spending is making its way through the state legislature.
Temple's statement comes in response to the renewed attention on DEI measures in Louisiana, with higher education leaders and academic organizations pushing back against attempts to curb their effectiveness. Despite ongoing debate about the efficacy of DEI measures, both sides agree that equitable access to higher education is essential for Louisiana's future success.