UC president shares important update related to Senate Bill 83

President Neville G. Pinto sent the below message to the campus community today

Dear UC Community,

I write to provide you with an update on recent developments related to Senate Bill 83. As we have communicated in recent weeks, the bill continues to move through Ohio’s legislative process. Along the way, the presidents of all 14 public universities have met with the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Jerry Cirino, on multiple occasions to seek adjustments to the legislation.

While we appreciate Sen. Cirino’s willingness to engage on this bill and some amendments have been made to the legislation, the current version of the bill that was approved by the Senate yesterday continues to raise serious concerns for the future of higher education in our state. I joined with Ohio’s university presidents and the Inter-University Council (IUC) to submit this joint letter, prior to approval by the Senate, to the bill’s sponsor as well as members of the Senate Workforce and Higher Education Committee.

Among the shared concerns explained in the letter, we believe this legislation amounts to “government overreach” that will create “unnecessary bureaucracy, duplication of programs, and increased costs.” In the correspondence, we also voice concerns with regard to academic freedom stating that “any limiting or mandating what may or may not be taught or how it may be taught in the classroom is a violation of academic freedom and the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.” Furthermore, we share that Senate Bill 83 “puts our universities at a disadvantage, hinders our workforce efforts, and contributes to administrative bloat.”

Importantly, the presidents shared serious concerns over the prohibition of diversity, equity and inclusion programming and the potential eroding of shared governance on campuses.

Our concerns are many with this legislation, and the university and our counterparts around the state as well as the IUC will continue our advocacy regarding the bill’s impact on higher education and the State of Ohio overall. The bill will next be considered by the House. If you would like to contact your local legislator, please use your personal contact information and email rather than those of the university. To find up-to-date Ohio General Assembly contact information you can visit the Ohio Legislature website.


Neville G. Pinto 

Related Stories