The University of Alabama has become the subject of controversy among state lawmakers after hearing several complaints about diversity, equity and inclusion practices at the school.
Last week, a nursing student told 1819 News she left UA after experiencing a course she said promoted "hate, racism, sexism and lies."
Now, State Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur), chairman of the State Senate's education budget committee, said what is happening in public institutions across the state cannot continue.
"Given this instance and the situation with the professor several months ago who resigned to move to another state because of his sense of the overbearing nature that seems to have befallen the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa campus, when it comes to DEI initiatives and efforts, along with the phone calls that I get from constituents, not only from UA Tuscaloosa but also other public institutions from around the state, tells me that we've got a situation that bares an examination by the legislature," Orr told 1819 News. "Where that leads us, where that takes us, I'm not sure, but I do believe that we've got an unhealthy environment on some of our campuses around the state and it's going to need looking into."
This will definitely be a 2024 Legislative Session issue….. Nursing student withdraws from University of Alabama claiming CRT, DEI curriculum promoted 'hate, racism, sexism and lies' https://t.co/3q9hW1CX6t— Senator Arthur Orr (@SenatorAOrr) August 25, 2023
Orr said there are options for lawmakers, but the most direct course will be through allocating public funds.
"It's the power of the purse, and the way the legislature can express its displeasure or sentiments about the way an agency, a university or some other public entity is operating, is through the appropriations process," he added.
UA president Dr. Stuart Bell has been outspoken about the university's support of DEI. Following the U.S. Supreme Court striking down affirmative action in university admissions, Bell said UA will continue to increase diversity efforts at the university.
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