Message from President White and Dean Threet
Utah Tech University students,
As legislation directly impacting higher education unfolds on Utah’s capitol hill, we would like to provide you with an update. We understand that some pieces of legislation which have passed in recent weeks have raised many questions about impacts on our campus. Although much remains unknown regarding the details of these bills, University administration will work closely with the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) and the legislature in the coming months to ensure we understand and comply with the new laws.
H.B. 261, Equal Opportunity Initiatives, was signed into law by the Governor and will go into effect on July 1, 2024. What we can comfortably share about this law is that it directly addresses offices titled “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.” Utah Tech leadership is currently in conversations regarding how the structure and name of such offices will change. Classroom instruction and research are not affected by the law. Both were specifically excluded. Additionally, the law protects grants and accreditation requirements set by federal or accreditation organizations. It is important to note that we believe cultural centers such as the Center for Inclusion & Belonging will continue to operate and provide services to all students. It will take USHE and its member institutions some time to understand the full implications of the law, but we plan to fully implement this law by July 1, as required by the legislation.
H.B. 257, Sex-based Designations for Privacy, Anti-bullying, and Women’s Opportunities, was also signed into law and certain portions of this bill are already in effect while additional elements of the bill go into effect on May 1, 2024. We know many students have questions about how this bill will impact them, and Utah Tech leadership is actively working to fully understand the legislation’s impact on existing and future facilities. In the meantime, Utah Tech has been working for many years to provide all-gender bathrooms across campus to accommodate the needs of all employees and students, and we will continue to do so with all new construction and remodels moving forward.
We recognize that aspects of these bills will lead to significant changes on campus, and although there is still much to learn and work through, Utah Tech University remains committed to providing educational opportunities and access for all while complying with these new laws. This legislation does not change our commitment to ensuring our students feel welcome and included on our campus. This process will take time, and we appreciate your patience as we work to understand the full impact of these laws.
We care deeply about each member of this campus community—students, faculty and staff. Utah Tech is committed to being a place where everyone can thrive.
Ali Threet, Dean of Students
Courtney White, Interim President