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FAQ: Faculty EDI guidance

Legislation passed during the 2024 Legislature prohibits state higher education institutions from engaging in certain efforts to build diversity on campus. The “Equal Opportunity Initiatives” law, or HB 261, takes effect on July 1, 2024, and will require organizational changes and some shifts in services and advocacy efforts. However, the law includes protections for academic freedom in research and teaching, viewpoint diversity, and federally funded grants, programs and initiatives that seek to improve access and services for underserved and underrepresented populations.

The new law explicitly preserves and strengthens protections for academic freedom and viewpoint diversity. As we receive additional guidance from the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) and state lawmakers in the coming weeks and months, faculty are encouraged to avoid unnecessary self-censorship and reach out for support and information when needed. The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) can advise about federally funded research projects. The Offices for Faculty and The Graduate School can help with faculty and post-doctorate job postings.  The Center for Teaching Excellence provides trainings and guidance for faculty to strengthen pedagogical and classroom engagement skills.

Below are responses to frequently asked questions on this topic. This document will continually be updated as needed. Please continue to send your questions.