Ohio lawmakers consider bill to reshape public universities

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 7:12 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A new bill has been introduced to Senate.

If passed, Senate Bill 83 – also referred to as the Ohio Higher Education Enhancement – would change the experience students and professors have in Ohio’s public universities. The bill’s main sponsor is Republican Senator Jerry Cirino,
Kirkland, Ohio.

The 39-page proposal covers a lot of changes to higher education. Below are some of the big takeaways from the bill:

  • The bill requires an American history or government course.
  • There must be six specific readings which include the following: the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, a minimum of five essays from the Federalist papers, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address, and lastly, Martin Luther King Jr.’s letter from jail.
  • The class syllabi must be made available to the public.
  • Tenure evaluations will be based on if teachers showed bias. In addition, students will be able to contribute to evaluations.
  • Ban bias in classrooms. Ban academic relationships with Chinese universities and labor strikes for university employees.
  • Ban mandatory Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) courses for training students and staff.

Senate Minority Leader Nickie Antonio of Cleveland said she is concerned about Senate Bill 83. She said it would reorder the administrative structure in higher education.

As a public university, The University of Toledo would be one of the institutions impacted should the bill pass.

13abc spoke with students on campus and found the consensus is relatively split. A group of students believes removing DEI courses and training would be a detriment to the university’s environment. Yet, other students showed no concerns about what would follow if the bill was enacted on campus.

With the complexity of the bill, officials on the other side of the aisle are still trying to make sense of the plan. Right now, the bill has only been introduced to the Senate. If it makes it past the Senate, it will then move to the house to be approved.

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please include the title when you click here to report it.