Compliance with State Law HB261

Commitment to Inclusive Excellence

In 2024, the Utah Legislature passed, and the governor signed, HB261: Equal Opportunity Initiatives, effective July 1, 2024. In response to this legislation and its implementation guidance, and as part of USU’s restructuring of the Academic Enterprise, USU has made changes to the structure and objectives of its inclusive excellence programs and education.

Utah State University remains committed to USU’s mission of excellence, access, and inclusion for all members of our communities across Utah and will work within the guardrails of state law to ensure our campuses are a place where everyone feels welcome.

USU recognizes that Inclusion Center (and the Access and Diversity Center before it) has been a cornerstone for student support and engagement and has served as a vital welcoming space on our campus for many years. This impact is a credit to the dedicated staff of the Inclusion Center and the tireless efforts of engaged students and employees across campus. As we make the changes to adjust our approach to student support and inclusive excellence, we will build on the foundation established by the Inclusion Center and carry forward a commitment to making sure USU is a space where everyone feels that they belong, and the success of all students is championed.

This website is intended to serve as a resource for the university community to understand what is required to be compliant with HB261, as well as report back to the Utah Board of Higher Education and legislative stakeholders about USU’s ongoing efforts to implement the requirements of HB261.

Structural Changes

The university deeply appreciates all those who have dedicated their efforts toward supporting the student success of all Aggies. Our commitment to serving, supporting, and lifting all students, faculty, and staff remains the same as does our commitment to USU’s Principles of Community. In response to the new state law, our university will make the following adaptations.

Leadership Change

Dr. Jane Irungu has been appointed as special advisor to President Cantwell. In this role, Dr. Irungu will advise and influence the university’s strategic planning, as well as efforts to ensure that, as we grow USU and build and expand new programs, we are doing so in a way that expands access and opportunity for all members of our campus community.

Inclusion Center

The Inclusion Center’s programs will be reorganized and reassigned within the Academic Enterprise. Student clubs previously housed in the Inclusion Center will be moved to Student Involvement and Leadership where they will be supported and operated consistent with the USUSA clubs and organizations’ policies and procedures.

The student support services offered by the Inclusion Center will be directed to central student support services, including the CARE office and Academic Belonging and Learning Excellence.

New Center for the Study of Community

Community building, cultural celebrations, and education will be coordinated and supported by a new Center for the Study of Community under the executive vice president/provost. This center will build on USU’s long history of scholarship and research on the impact of practices that bridge USU knowledge and people with Utah communities, ensuring programs and activities are rooted in the land-grant principles of pluralism and available to all.

Cultural Centers

The Latinx Cultural Center and proposed Native American Cultural Center will be reviewed and adjusted so that they are in full compliance with HB261 and the Utah System of Higher Education’s new policy on cultural centers.


All related federal and state laws and policies still apply to USU. It continues to be illegal to discriminate against or harass someone based on their race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or religion. Violations of USU’s nondiscrimination policies, including discriminatory harassment, can be reported to the Office of Equity using its online reporting form.

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