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ASU professor files lawsuit against university over DEI training, alleges pressure to decolonize classroom



Last Updated on March 23, 2024 by Robert C. Hoopes

Arizona State University professor Dr. Owen Anderson has made headlines by filing a lawsuit against the university’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training program. The lawsuit, filed in partnership with The Goldwater Institute, a conservative nonprofit organization, alleges that the mandatory DEI training violates a state law prohibiting public agencies from requiring employees to engage in training that presents blame or judgment based on race, ethnicity, or sex.

The DEI training course, titled “ASU Inclusive Communities,” has come under fire for teaching faculty and staff about topics such as white supremacy, white privilege, and transformative justice. Faculty members are required to take a test following the training, with failure to provide the “correct” answer potentially resulting in reporting to their supervising dean.

Dr. Anderson, who has previously spoken out against what he perceives as the university’s far-left ideology, has faced challenges within the institution, including being asked to “decolonize” his classroom and syllabus. Despite the pushback, Anderson has gained support from fellow faculty members who share his concerns but are fearful of potential repercussions for speaking out.

In response to the lawsuit, ASU has defended its DEI training program, stating that it provides a supportive and welcoming environment for students of all backgrounds. However, critics of the program have expressed shock at the content taught during the training sessions.

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The lawsuit filed by Dr. Anderson has sparked a debate on campus and beyond, with supporters and opponents weighing in on the implications of the DEI training program. As the legal battle unfolds, the outcome could have far-reaching implications for diversity and inclusion efforts within the university and potentially beyond. Stay tuned for updates on this developing story on ‘My MBA Career’ website.

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Dina J. Miller is an accomplished writer and editor with a passion for business and education. With over a decade of experience in the industry, she has established herself as a leading voice in the MBA community. Her work can be found in a variety of MBA magazines and college publications, where she provides insightful commentary on current trends and issues in the field. Dina's expertise in business and education stems from her extensive academic background. She holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from a top-tier business school, where she excelled in her studies and developed a deep understanding of the complexities of the business world. Her academic achievements have been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including induction into several prestigious academic societies.

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