Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Beeler: State hiring, university admissions should be based on merit
RELEASE|March 5, 2024
Contact: Andrew Beeler

State Rep. Andrew Beeler on Tuesday unveiled a plan to promote merit-based hiring practices in Michigan and merit-based admissions policies by state universities.

The plan would ensure that state agencies, as well as companies that contract with the state or receive taxpayer funding, hire employees based solely on their qualifications and ability to do the job. Beeler, R-Port Huron, said the proposal would prevent personnel decisions that are made in the name of so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) but are actually rooted in harmful discrimination.

“Hiring decisions and college admissions should be based on an applicant’s abilities and qualifications, especially at taxpayer-funded agencies and universities,” Beeler said. “Unfortunately, the push for ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion’ is a recipe for discrimination, stereotyping, and hostility. The best candidate should get the job every time. My plan will ensure that state government and state universities make decisions on merit — not on a discriminatory agenda.”

Specifically, under Beeler’s plan, hiring and promotional decisions would be based on a reasonable expectation that an employee can adequately perform the duties of the job, based on objective criteria such as experience, education, and training. The policy would apply to state agencies for all employees that aren’t already covered by the classified civil service requirements, state contractors, and companies that receive funding through the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) Fund.

Beeler’s plan would also encourage more responsible practices at private companies by ensuring that corporations don’t deduct the cost of DEI training programs, which often promote discrimination and stereotyping, from their state taxes. Economy wide, companies spent an estimated $7.5 billion on DEI initiatives in 2020, and the expense is expected to rise dramatically in the years ahead.

Finally, Beeler proposed a constitutional amendment that would require all state universities to make admissions decisions based on objective, merit-based factors, such as grades, test scores, community service, extracurricular activities, personal essays, and achievements. State universities in Michigan spend millions of dollars each year on DEI bureaucracy, and can use social factors to get around the constitutional prohibition on race discrimination.

House Bills 5537-5541 and House Joint Resolution N were referred to the Committee on Government Operations.

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