Texas colleges claim to drop ‘diversity, equity, inclusion’ policies
March 24, 2023
By Bethany Blankley
The Center Square
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s chief of staff sent a letter to all heads of state agencies and state-funded university systems last month telling them to follow existing law and drop their DEI policies (diversity, equity and inclusion), arguing they are illegal.
Within a few weeks, the state’s largest university systems said they were halting their DEI policies after they’d spent years and millions of dollars implementing them.
Abbott’s Chief of Staff Gardner Pate wrote, “federal and state law forbid discrimination against a current or prospective employee because of that person’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or military service,” which covers hundreds of thousands of people employed by the state of Texas.
He said DEI “has been manipulated to push policies that expressly favor some demographic groups to the detriment of others. … Rather than increasing diversity in the workplace, these DEI initiatives are having the opposite effect and are being advanced in ways that proactively encourage discrimination in the workplace. Illegally adding DEI requirements as a screening tool in hiring practices or using DEI as a condition of employment leads to the exclusion and alienation of individuals from the workplace.”
Agencies and state-funded universities using taxpayer dollars to fund DEI initiatives, Pate said, was “inconsistent with the law.”
Not soon after, Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp issued a statement, saying, “No university or agency in the A&M System will admit any student, nor hire any employee based on any factor other than merit.” He also “directed leaders of its 11 universities and eight agencies to stop asking job candidates for statements about their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in their applications, The Eagle reported.