California Judge Suspends Community College DEI Rules

Inside Higher Ed

Sara Weissman
November 15, 2023
A California judge has suspended the enforcement of rules instituted by the California Community College system intended to ensure faculty and staff members uphold diversity, equity and inclusion values.
The rules, which took effect in the spring, establish criteria for the evaluation of employees regarding their “demonstrated, or progress toward, proficiency in diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility … competencies that enable work with diverse communities,” according to a May memo from system leaders.
The injunction, granted Tuesday, was in response to a lawsuit against Bakersfield College and Kern Community College District leaders filed by Daymon Johnson, a history professor at the college. His suit alleged that he and other professors were penalized for espousing conservative views under the system’s mandate and discouraged from exercising their free speech rights. The lawsuit claimed the rules were unconstitutional and called for them to be suspended.