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How will Utah’s 2024 diversity, equity and inclusion law impact campus?

Editor’s note: The 2024 General Legislature remains in session until March 1. This FAQ will be updated as we learn more.

During the 2024 General Legislature, lawmakers adopted HB 261, “Equal Opportunity Initiatives,” prohibiting state higher education institutions from relying on certain individual characteristics in decisions regarding aspects of employment or education.

The law, which was signed by Gov. Spencer Cox on Jan. 30, eliminates central offices dedicated to equity, diversity and inclusion, and prohibits policies, procedures, practices, programs or initiatives that are referred to as diversity, equity and inclusion. The law prohibits the use of diversity statements or commitments in hiring or admission processes and requires that dedicated resource centers serve all students.

Lawmakers carved out protections for classroom instruction, research and accreditation. Federally funded grants approved by the Board of Trustees or the Board of Higher Education that include certain diversity expectations are allowed. Lawmakers also created an exception for an institution to establish or maintain eligibility for a federal program and meet accreditation requirements. They also updated the legislation to allow the University of Utah to maintain its memorandum of understanding with the Ute Tribe.

The legislation will go into effect on July 1, 2024. Through the Utah System of Higher Education, colleges and universities must report their compliance in 2025, and every other year after 2026.

Over the next several weeks, university leaders will be reaching out to key teams from across campus to determine which people, processes and policies may be affected. Please don’t hesitate to share your questions and concerns at

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