Rep. Micah Van Huss announced Monday that he plans to file legislation to de-fund the University of Tennessee’s Office of Diversity, which in August issued a non-binding memo asking students and faculty to use gender neutral pronouns, then, this month recommended best practices for hosting all-inclusive holiday parties.
“We had been trying to draft something that would leave the office in place, but bring more oversight,” Van Huss said in an emailed press release. “However, after this latest action, it is clear that this taxpayer-funded department in no way reflects the values of Tennesseans.”
Reached Monday by telephone, Van Huss said, according to 2013 budget numbers, the state provides $4.2 million for the salaries of Office of Diversity staff members across the University of Tennessee system.
Not only would Van Huss’ bill remove funding from the college’s diversity office, the representative states, but it would also create a fund “to pay for any local or state law enforcement agency that would like to decal our national motto on their vehicles.”