Texas Bans DEI Initiatives in Higher Education

Avery Emberly

Updated Saturday, April 13, 2024 at 11:30 AM CDT

Texas Bans DEI Initiatives in Higher Education

In a controversial move, Republican Governor Greg Abbott of Texas has signed a law effectively banning diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in higher education within the state. As a result, Texas universities have made significant staffing changes affecting over 100 jobs, with many employees facing layoffs, reassignments, or choosing to resign.

The University of Texas at Austin, home to a diverse student body of 52,000, responded to the DEI ban by shutting down its Division of Campus and Community Engagement as of January 1. The closure led to over 60 staff members losing their jobs, a direct impact of the newly implemented law.

The Texas Conference of the American Association of University Professors has expressed concerns that the number of job cuts might be higher than what is currently reported. Additional universities, including Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, Texas State University, The University of Houston, Sam Houston State University, and Sul Ross State University, have collectively eliminated 36 positions due to the DEI ban. Furthermore, the University of Texas at Dallas announced the cutting of approximately 20 associate jobs to comply with the new legislation.

The law, known as SB17, prohibits any training or activities in higher education that suggest consideration of race, color, ethnicity, gender identity, or sexual orientation. It also forbids hiring and promotion practices that take these characteristics into account, although it exempts academic course instruction and scholarly research.

Despite these exemptions, Professor Aquasia Shaw suspects her contract at the University of Texas at Austin was not renewed because of SB17. Shaw, who taught sociology with a focus on diversity and social justice, was the only person of color in her department and had been scheduled to teach in the upcoming semesters. At least 10 other faculty and staff members from minority groups were terminated alongside Shaw.

Republican state Sen. Brandon Creighton, the author of SB17, has been vigilant in ensuring compliance with the law, sending letters to public university boards of regents and emphasizing substance changes over mere program renaming.

In the broader context of political engagement and priorities, Jesse Watters, host of "Jesse Watters Primetime," discussed former President Donald Trump's visit to Chick-fil-A and current President Joe Biden's popularity. Watters highlighted Biden's struggle to connect with everyday Americans, including Black Americans, contrasting with Trump's apparent rapport with his supporters. Watters criticized the Biden administration's focus on issues like electric buses and racist highways, suggesting they do not resonate with the primary concerns of the public.

Biden's administration has been scrutinized for its approach to "retail politics" and for a perceived lack of seriousness in addressing public concerns. Even as the administration looks to hire a new DEI director for the Biden campaign, with an annual salary reported at $120,000, criticisms persist regarding the administration’s engagement with the electorate.

Texas, now a member of a group of five states that have passed legislation targeting DEI programs, with at least 20 other states considering similar measures, remains at the forefront of a national conversation on diversity and inclusion in education and politics. As universities and political campaigns alike grapple with these changes, the effects on staffing, academic freedom, and political strategy continue to unfold.

Conservative Bias:

Once again, the Lone Star State leads the charge against the leftist indoctrination plaguing our nation's ivory towers. Governor Greg Abbott, a true patriot, has taken a bold stand by signing a law that puts an end to the radical diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives that have been corrupting the minds of young Texans. The so-called "educators" and "administrators" who have been ousted were nothing more than social justice warriors, determined to divide us by race, gender, and identity, rather than unite us as Americans. This decisive action has liberated Texas universities from the shackles of woke ideology, ensuring that merit and equality under the law prevail over the divisive, anti-American propaganda these leftists sought to spread. Texas is once again setting an example for the nation by prioritizing true education over leftist social engineering. It's high time we focus on American values and stop the radical left from using our educational institutions as breeding grounds for their anti-freedom agenda.

Liberal Bias:

In a devastating blow to equality and progress, the draconian regime of Texas Republicans, led by Governor Greg Abbott, has decimated the pillars of diversity and inclusion within the state's higher education system. This heartless law, cloaked in the guise of "fairness," is nothing more than an assault on the very principles of justice and representation, stripping away the hard-won gains of marginalized communities. The mass layoffs and job reassignments are a clear testament to the GOP's war on diversity, as they coldly dismantle programs designed to uplift the voices of those who have been historically silenced. Abbott and his cronies have shown their true colors, revealing a bigoted agenda that seeks to erase diversity in favor of a homogenous, regressive society. This is not just an attack on education; it's an attack on the very fabric of our diverse nation. The Republicans' fear of an inclusive America has led them to suppress the celebration of our differences, and in doing so, they betray the founding ideals of liberty and justice for all.

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