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Study Shows LGBTQ+ Professors Are Tempted to Leave Colleges Amid Anti-DEI Laws

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Study Shows LGBTQ+ Professors Are Tempted to Leave Colleges Amid Anti-DEI Laws
Source: Pinterest

Study Shows LGBTQ+ Professors Are Tempted to Leave Colleges Amid Anti-DEI Laws

Source: Pinterest

The implementation of anti-DEI laws in universities is having a huge impact. According to a recent study, LGBTQ+ professors might be considering leaving their schools.
The Anti-DEI Laws

The Anti-DEI Laws

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DEI stands for Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion in schools. Over the years, educational bodies have put DEI in place to help the minority in schools and prevent discrimination in educational sections. However, 2023 marked a huge turning point for supporters of DEI as many states passed laws that banned DEI training and college programs, claiming that the program caused a divide in schools and colleges.

The Williams Institute Report

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The Williams Institute Report
The Williams Institute at UCLA recently carried out a study to examine the effects of the recent laws that banned DEI from higher education campuses. They took responses from 84 LGBTQ+ college faculty members, asking questions about the impact of anti-DEI laws on their teaching, mental health, ability to carry out research work, and recent classroom experiences.

The Results

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The survey results showed that 36% of the respondents had considered leaving academia to avoid the effects of the anti-DEI laws. The new laws have also affected researchers, as 16% of them were less willing to participate in any form of research. This affects members not only in California but across nine other states in the country.

The Impact on Work Environment

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According to the respondents, the anti-DEI laws have also significantly affected their work environment. The report found that the participants felt stressed and weren’t happy teaching and conducting research in a campus climate that they considered “chilly.” They also felt like their institution and department were not supportive of them, making them reconsider their positions.

Mental Health Takes A Hit

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Regarding their mental health, almost 75% of the survey respondents said they believe that the anti-DEI laws have created an environment that has not been beneficial to their mental health. This was a huge factor for those who have considered moving to another state to escape the anti-DEI laws. As almost half of the respondents fall into the category, it is clear that this is a significant issue.

Anti-DEI Laws Affecting Teaching

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The faculty members who took the survey felt that the environment was promoting hostility toward DEI and its related topics. Ten percent of these LGBTQ+ faculty members said that their students have threatened to report them for violating the campus’ anti-DEI laws. Another 12 percent said they had experienced negative teaching sessions since the implementation of anti-DEI laws.

Increased Fears on Campus

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Most of the participants did not feel safe regarding the safety of their identities. They are reportedly scared of what others think about their identities and feel judged more often than before. Those in lower ranks also noted that they were experiencing “heightened fears” as they are now trying to be vigilant to avoid angering those at the top since the university is no longer on their side.

Families Are Affected

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The anti-DEI legislation is not only affecting the LGBTQ+ faculty members but also their families. According to the survey, 60% of the respondent parents said that their children have experienced at least one negative event since they banned DEI in schools. They also reported that 26% of their children have been harassed and bullied for either being members of the LGBTQ+ or having parents in the community.

Members Plan to Leave

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The participants who have considered leaving are divided into various categories. 48% of them have thought about moving out of state, 36% reportedly want new jobs outside academia, and 43% want to look for new jobs still in academia. A total of 23% have taken active steps to get new jobs and move out of their current state to places that support DEI.

DEI Policies

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DEI is not just a program but a policy, practice, or activity that was designed to help people who typically get treated unfairly for several reasons. This can include their ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality and much more. Therefore, those who support DEI believe that it helps people in several institutions to ensure that people are treated equally and fairly in diverse settings. 

DEI Criticism

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A lot of people have criticized DEI over time but it became most pronounced in 2023. These critics believe that DEI is linked to “critical race theory.” This theory believes that DEI policies attempt to punish White people for things like systemic racism in America. This applies to Black people and others from different backgrounds, including Asians and Latinas.

Increasing DEI Backlash

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For years, there has been building sentiment against DEI and its policies. This has even become a sort of political action as there are now laws banning DEI in some states. The supporters of this notion believe that DEI teaches “wokeism,” which is affecting colleges and institutions across the country. The backlash is now significantly stronger, and people are very vocal about it.