Hakkola speaks to The Chronicle of Higher Education about DEI in higher ed

The Chronicle of Higher Education interviewed Leah Hakkola, associate professor of higher education, for an article about states where lawmakers want to ban diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives at colleges and universities, and states where legislators want to require it. Hakkola said that in the current polarized political climate in the U.S., legislation that promotes DEI at public colleges is increasingly important. She added that most administrators in higher ed understand that these efforts improve accessibility and boost innovation. She said rebranding these initiatives with low-risk language like “intercultural sensitivity” or “intercultural competence” could be one way to preserve them in states where they face bans. Ultimately, Hakkola said, both supporters and skeptics need to find common ground. “This fighting will not necessarily come to a conclusion or some kind of compromise unless we are able to talk across our differences,” Hakkola said.