The Last Bastion of Wokeness: DEI Dictates College Graduation


In an era where the battleground of ideology has overtaken the halls of academia, a recent report exposes a stark reality: nearly two-thirds of colleges and universities in the United States now mandate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) courses for graduation. This finding not only underscores the deep entrenchment of DEI dogma within higher education but also signals a troubling shift towards compulsory indoctrination. Despite various states’ attempts to curb the spread of such ideology on campuses, the persistence of these requirements reveals a sinister stronghold: higher education has become the final fortress of wokeness, where students are conscripted into a march of ideological conformity before they can claim their diplomas. With the tendrils of DEI deeply embedded in the fabric of academic life, the question arises: are institutions of higher learning still about education, or have they become factories of leftist indoctrination? 

A new report released Thursday by the group Speech First finds that nearly two-thirds of colleges and universities reviewed have requirements for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) courses to satisfy graduation requirements.

The report, titled “No Graduation Without Indoctrination: The DEI Course Mandate,” investigated 248 colleges from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and found that 67% of the institutions reviewed mandate DEI courses to satisfy general education requirements. Of the 165 institutions identified that enforce DEI requirements, 59% were taxpayer-funded public institutions and 41% were private institutions.

Speech First Executive Director Cherise Trump — no relation to the former president — spoke with FOX Business’ Lydia Hu about the report and said that the idea to look into DEI graduation requirements came about through conversations with college students.

“We had heard about some of the trainings through freshman orientations and some of the online modules,” she explained. “But we had not heard that you have to take full semester-long courses in order to graduate, so we wanted to look more into this and that’s when we started digging.”

Students walk on college campus

A report by Speech First found that two-thirds of colleges and universities have DEI courses as requirements for students to graduate. (J. Conrad Williams Jr./Newsday RM via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The investigation by Speech First, an organization that was founded as a nationwide community of those who support free speech on college campuses, found that the curriculum of DEI courses required for graduation often advocates far-left ideological perspectives and can also encourage students to engage in political activism on those issues.

“Looking at some of the courses that the students are required to take in order to satisfy these requirements, we realized that this is actually going to take a lot more effort by the states to actually disentangle DEI from campus,” Trump told FOX Business. 

“However, once we take them off campus, you’re turning the spigot off, but you’re not essentially disentangling all of what they’ve been building for the last decade or so since they’ve been on there pushing this with millions of dollars of funding.”


Speech First found that some colleges still have DEI policies and requirements on campus despite state laws aimed at their elimination. (Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Trump added that while states may succeed in enacting anti-DEI legislation aimed at rooting out requirements on college campuses, lawmakers have to ensure that colleges fully comply with the law by auditing courses and policies to verify that such requirements have been removed.

“It’s really a matter of states, once they pass these laws, to really stay on top of the schools, properly investigate them, properly audit their policies, and just understand that they can’t simply pass the law and just leave it at that,” she explained. “They actually have to enforce the laws.”

Speech First says that states need to ensure colleges comply with DEI laws. (Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Trump noted that despite Florida’s broad-reaching laws on DEI at public campuses, Speech First still found “five universities in Florida that require, to some extent, a DEI course or DEI elective in order to graduate.”

“Granted, some of these universities may not have updated their websites since the law just recently went into effect this year. But ultimately, if it is the case that they’re trying to circumvent and dodge these policies, Florida needs to go in and really hold them accountable,” she explained.

Trump said that students she has talked to about required DEI courses on their campuses have generally either expressed a grudging willingness to sit through courses to satisfy the degree requirement, or in some cases skip the classes despite spending tuition dollars on them.

This article originally appeared on Fox Business

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