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Government Overreach

Increasingly, state governments are intervening in higher education in ways that constrain the freedom of inquiry and expression essential to liberal education and that violate the principles of academic freedom and institutional autonomy.

Across the country, state legislatures and governors are imposing or seeking to impose restrictions on teaching and learning in colleges and universities. The majority of these restrictions are focused on concepts related to race, gender, LGBTQ+ identities, and American history.

These government interventions violate the principles of academic freedom and institutional autonomy on which the quality and integrity of our system of higher education depends. Foundational to American higher education, these closely interrelated principles both enable and preserve the freedom of inquiry and expression necessary to pursue truth wherever it may lead, to increase knowledge, and to drive innovation and discovery.

Recommended Resources

America's Censored Classrooms

This report from PEN America analyzes state legislative efforts to restrict teaching about topics such as race, gender, American history, and LGBTQ+ identities in K–12 and higher education.

DEI Legislation Tracker

The Chronicle of Higher Education is tracking legislation that would prohibit DEI offices or staff; ban mandatory diversity training; prohibit the use of diversity statements in hiring and promotion; or prohibit use of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in admissions or employment.