Bad for students. Bad for higher education. Bad for Ohio.

Senate Bill 83, sponsored by Senator Jerry Cirino (R-Kirkland), was introduced on March 14, 2023. It is a sweeping piece of legislation that proposes an unprecedented level of political interference and micromanagement of Ohio’s colleges and universities.

The bill is a series of contradictions on freedom of speech, claiming to promote intellectual diversity while simultaneously dictating the content and manner in which certain topics can be discussed. It would ban the types of training that ensure all students, no matter their backgrounds, can succeed.

The untenable mandates in SB 83 would shift money, time, and attention from student learning to bureaucracy. It would make it harder to attract students and faculty to Ohio institutions of higher learning, and in the long run, Ohio will become even less competitive economically.

Moreover, SB 83 attacks workers’ rights by attempting to ban the right to strike by any union representing faculty or staff on a campus. Under the guise of not wanting to disrupt student learning, the true intent of this portion of SB 83 is to weaken the power of campus workers to advocate for fair working conditions, which are students’ learning conditions.

None of this enhances higher education. Instead, this is a bill deeply rooted in Culture-War ideology, and the legislature could do real, irreversible damage to our institutions of higher education.

We must stop Senate Bill 83! Contact your State Senator, as well as the Senators on the Ohio Senate Workforce Development and Higher Education Committee, and urge them to oppose SB 83.