December 13, 2023
It is unfortunate to see Oklahoma’s governor take this stand and sign Executive Order 2023-31, which undoubtedly lowers the stature of higher education institutions in the state.
Using an executive order to return to an era when higher education failed to address the needs of all students is shortsighted and outrageous. With these political actions, elected leaders, including Governor Stitt, are making a calculated attempt at the state level to discredit and diminish effective, proven mechanisms that have opened doors of opportunity and helped historically marginalized students earn their degrees. These actions rebuild barriers for groups that were historically marginalized and pushed aside. They do nothing to support students.
One would think that in a state that is home to almost 40 American Indian federally recognized nations, Oklahoma would be actively and enthusiastically welcoming such a proud cultural aspect of its population rather than pushing it away.
The National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) is the preeminent voice for chief diversity officers. As the leader of the national conversation on diversity, equity, and inclusion, it investigates, influences, and innovates to transform higher education so that inclusive excellence lives at its core.