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Amber Stark

SIOP Stands in Support of Academic Freedom

The SIOP Executive Board approved this statement at its July 13, 2023, meeting.

The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) is a community of more than 9,000 members worldwide with a common interest in promoting the science, practice, and teaching of industrial-organizational psychology (I-O) psychology to enhance human wellbeing and performance in organizational settings and other settings in which work is conducted. As the largest organization focused on the scientific study of work-related human behavior, we write to reaffirm our support for the principles of academic freedom and for programs, research, education, and dialogue designed to explore benefits and risks in organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

As of July 13, 2023, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports that 40 bills have been introduced across 22 states that propose anti-diversity, equity, and inclusion legislation within higher education. Examples of the bills that have been introduced include prohibition of spending on DEI initiatives, elimination of majors that involve race, gender, and sexuality studies, and attempts to dismantle tenure.

SIOP is committed to fostering a vigorous science through the open exchange of ideas and of data and thus is opposed to legislation that undermines academic or intellectual freedom. A productive and healthy science requires freedom of inquiry and freedom of expression, continuous exchange of ideas, and evaluation of scientific results. For science to thrive, researchers and educators must be free to pursue their scientific investigations within the constraints of the ethical principles, scientific principles, and guidelines of the discipline. SIOP does not condone any attempt to censor DEI work, research, and education that meets the scientific standards of the profession.

Note: The links below are provided for your review, not as references for the above.

https://www.ala.org/aboutala/sites/ala.org.aboutala/files/content/governance/policymanual/updatedpolicymanual/ocrpdfofprm/53-5supportofacad.pdf

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brown-center-chalkboard/2023/03/28/proposed-legislation-threatens-viewpoint-diversity-in-higher-education/

https://www-chronicle-com.eu1.proxy.openathens.net/article/here-are-the-states-where-lawmakers-are-seeking-to-ban-colleges-dei-efforts

https://www.aclufl.org/en/legislation/hb-999sb-266-higher-education-censorship-and-government-control-bill

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