Mandatory DEI Trainings and Academic Freedom

January 22, 2024 1 min read

Alan Rozenshtein
Volokh Conspiracy, Reason Magazine

Excerpt: According to the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), a conservative advocacy group, the University of Wisconsin Law School conducted a mandatory 1L "reorientation DEI session" last week for which students had to fill out a "race timeline worksheet" with "7 significant moments at least" of "significant life events around race" and read a worksheet listing 28 "common racist attitudes and behaviors," including views like "I'm colorblind" and "We have overcome." A student who attended the session confirmed to me that WILL's reporting was broadly accurate.

But I want to focus on a different point: that an educational institution committed to academic freedom and free inquiry should not use mandatory trainings to impose contested moral claims (again, without taking a position on the specifics of how the Wisconsin session was conducted).

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