Owens introduces bill to stop accreditors from forcing political agendas

Today, Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) introduced the Accreditation for College Excellence (ACE) Act, legislation to prohibit accreditors from requiring the colleges they accredit to meet any political litmus tests, such as requiring adherence to DEI standards, as a condition of accreditation.

“Accreditors wield significant influence over colleges and their curriculum, at times weighing an institution’s eligibility for federal financial aid against their commitment to woke diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts,” said Rep. Owens. “Our nation’s education system shines when diverse voices and viewpoints are shared and heard – not when academic freedom is squashed, and political ideology is forced. The Accreditation for College Excellence (ACE) Act forces accreditors to focus on what really matters: Producing workforce-ready graduates.”

The ACE Act would:

  • Require accreditors to confirm their standards do not require, encourage, or coerce an institution to support or oppose specific partisan or political beliefs, viewpoints on social or political issues, or support the disparate treatment of any individual or group
  • Prohibit accreditors from assessing an institution’s commitment to any ideology, belief, or viewpoint for the purposes of receiving accreditation for HEA funding
  • Protect a college’s religious mission and ability to require adherence with religious practices or codes of conduct
  • Ensure that an accreditor cannot require, encourage, or coerce an institution to violate any right protected by the Constitution
  • Limit accreditors from adopting any additional standards for accreditation

The full text of the legislation is available here.