Update on Ohio Senate Bill 83
Since the introduction of Senate Bill 83, The Ohio Higher Education Enhancement Act, the University of Cincinnati engaged faculty, staff and students in reviewing the bill’s provisions.
This review identified impact to academic freedom, our academic mission, research enterprise and operations, all of which support our institution’s role in promoting critical thinking and supporting student success.
Because of these concerns, our university leadership, led by President Pinto, and members of our university community advocated at length for our mission and our values with the bill’s sponsor, our local delegation and other elected officials. Importantly, the state’s public university presidents joined together to consistently speak with a united voice regarding this bill.
On May 9, the Senate Workforce and Higher Education Committee voted to accept a substitute version of the bill. The House Higher Education Committee also adopted the language of this substitute bill into its companion bill, House Bill 151.
In its current, updated form, Senate Bill 83 – as well as the companion House Bill 151 – continue to impact a number of areas, including:
- University mission statements
- DEI policies and programs
- Policies related to intellectual diversity and controversial beliefs
- Syllabus requirements
- Faculty workload, evaluation and post-tenure review processes
- Partnerships with the People's Republic of China
- Board of Trustees training and term lengths
- A requirement of an American history/government course for all undergraduates
- Endowment-related policies and practices
- Collective bargaining agreements
Senate Bill 83 will receive another hearing in the Senate Workforce and Higher Education Committee on May 16. The university and our counterparts around the state as well as the Inter-University Council, a consortium of Ohio’s 14 public universities, will continue our advocacy, both formal and informal, regarding the bill’s impact on higher education and the State of Ohio overall. As the process advances, it’s our goal to represent the integrity of our institution as fundamental to our state and our society in terms of problem solving, creating opportunity and developing educated and engaged citizens.
If you would like to contact your local legislator, please use your personal contact information and email rather than those of the university. You may find contact information for the Ohio General Assembly online: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/.