Stacy Skankey, an attorney at the Arizona-based Goldwater Institute, says the think tank is concerned because ASU is training its professors about “white supremacy” and the racist history of the United States, which she says is illegal to do so.
“They're also taking one of the nation's top journalism schools and indoctrinating its students with this DEI material,” the attorney says, referring to the famous Cronkite School of Journalism.
In a statement to AFN, ASU said Goldwater Institute is “misinformed” about its allegations because there are "no required DEI programs," such as a mandatory DEI class for its Cronkite School journalism students.
On the ASU website, Cronkite School maintains a website dedicated to “diversity, equity, and inclusion” for its journalism students. The journalism school’s “Diversity Plan” states the faculty voted in 2021 to add a “required course” called “Diversity and Civility at Cronkite.”
An investigative story by The Daily Caller, published last year, said freshmen enrolled in the Cronkite School were required to take that course. The reporter said ASU refused to provide the course syllabus after he submitted an open records request, so he had to travel there and review the syllabus in person.
AFN also found a press release from September 2022 in which Cronkite School announced it was launching a two-year DEI program for journalism students with help from The Diversity Pledge Institute. That organization focus on “diversity” in journalism.
Regarding teaching DEI to ASU faculty, the same statement to AFN said the university's commitment to "access, inclusion and student success" touches "ASU employees in their work and workplace every single day."
Goldwater has now sent two demand letters to ASU over its DEI training. One letter alleges the public university is breaking state law by using public funds to teach DEI. The second letter says ASU has not complied with public records requests.