University of Oklahoma: Mandatory Diversity Training Requires Compelled Speech

Category: Freedom of Conscience
Schools: University of Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma’s mandatory diversity training requires faculty and staff to affirm university-approved viewpoints to complete the training. On November 16, 2020, FIRE wrote to OU to explain that requiring students and faculty to state that they agree with ideas that they may oppose amounts to compelled speech, which is unconstitutional. FIRE also submitted a public records request seeking copies of the training materials. OU refused to send the materials, agreeing only that a FIRE staff member could travel across the country to Norman, Oklahoma, to view the materials in person. After FIRE blogged about the diversity training, OU responded that it would consult with its software vendor, EVERFI. On April 26, however, OU told FIRE that its training “does not impose specific ways of thinking” and that it will not make changes to its training.