South Carolina looks to ditch DEI in higher ed

South Carolina looks to ditch DEI in higher ed

South Carolina is one step closer to banning the discriminatory DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) practices that have undermined many of the nation's institutions of higher learning. 

This week, the S.C. House passed a bill banning state colleges, universities and technical schools from considering an applicant's political views or stance on DEI when it comes to hiring and admissions. It would also prevent faculty members from undergoing mandatory diversity training.  

The successful vote came late Wednesday evening after opponents filed dozens of amendments to delay the bill and used time-wasting procedural tactics.

In short, the measure would: 

  • Prevent state colleges and universities from using DEI pledges to make hiring and admissions decisions 
  • Ban mandatory diversity training 
  • Require higher education institutions to annually disclose their number of administrative positions dedicated to DEI, along with a list of all DEI-related programs and expenditures  
  • Reinforce free-speech rights on campus and prohibit schools from engaging in viewpoint discrimination 


It's time to say "bye" to DEI

Rooted in a left-wing ideology, DEI mandates are often weaponized to compel students, teachers and workers to partake in misguided social-justice initiatives. Often, these include mandatory diversity trainings, which have been shown time and time again to be ineffective or even exacerbate racial tensions.  

To date, nine states have enacted laws to ban, restrict or defund DEI practices in higher education: Florida, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Indiana, North Dakota, and Wyoming. 

South Carolina would be wise to join this movement of states focused on protecting speech and bolstering academic integrity. And it needs to act soon, as DEI has rooted itself in our institutions in concerning and unexpected ways.

Take the Medical University of South Carolina, for example. According to its website, all individuals under a section of its “employee student health policy” are required to be vaccinated unless they are granted an accommodation by the school’s Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

That’s right – the same department charged with promoting DEI principles is responsible for granting vaccine waivers.  

Quoted by The Post and Courier, one of the bill’s lead sponsors, S.C. Rep. Josiah Magnuson, hits the nail on the head with the issue: “Even though (diversity, equity and inclusion) are good words, they have been misapplied so often.”  

The pending ban comes not long after South Carolina’s partial crackdown on ESG – or “environmental, social and governance” practices. In February, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster signed a law requiring state retirement funds to be invested strictly on financial factors that maximize shareholder value, banning criteria that would promote ESG objectives. 

SCPC celebrated the new law, which was a key priority on our 2024 Roadmap to Reform.

After clearing the House, the DEI bill now heads to the Senate.