Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is taking a page out of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ playbook by shuttering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) offices at all state-funded colleges and universities in Texas. Abbott signed the controversial legislation into law this week, but it does not go into effect until Jan. 1.
Details of the bill include prohibiting schools from being influenced to hire individuals based on their “race, sex, color, or ethnicity, other than through the use of color-blind and sex-neutral hiring processes.” It also states that DEI offices were “promoting differential treatment of or providing special benefits to individuals on the basis of race, color, or ethnicity.” Without the diversity-oriented programs in place, schools will no longer have to provide training or activities in reference to race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation unless required to do so by federal law. Institutions that do not comply will be unable to utilize state funds. Additional details can be viewed here.
“Texas is leading the nation and ensuring our campuses return to focusing on the strength of diversity and promoting a merit-based approach where individuals are judged on their qualifications, skills, and contributions,” said Republican Senator Brandon Creighton, who co-authored the bill, in a statement obtained by NBC News. But not everyone agrees with that stance. “The passage of [this bill] sends a strong message to current and prospective faculty and students that Texas does not welcome a strong, diverse, empowered higher education community,” said Pat Heintzelman, president of the Texas Faculty Association, in a released statement obtained by The Dallas Morning News.
As previously reported by REVOLT last month, DeSantis signed a bill into law stripping DEI programs at state-funded schools in Florida. The GOP presidential hopeful asserted that “DEI is better viewed as standing for discrimination, exclusion, and indoctrination.”
“In reality, what this concept of DEI has been is to attempt to impose orthodoxy on the university, and not even necessarily in the classroom, but through the administrative apparatus of the university itself, and that manifests itself in a number of different ways,” he claimed in a video recording announcing the measure. DeSantis is one of several politicians who have spoken out in opposition to DEI and the teachings of Black cultural history in America.