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Texas Governor Greg Abbott Signs Law Abolishing DEI Offices at State Colleges and Universities

Texas Governor Greg Abbott Signs Law Abolishing DEI Offices at State Colleges and Universities

“The days of political oaths, compelled speech, and racial profiling in university hiring are behind us”

Hopefully, other states will follow the example set here and in Florida.

The College Fix reports:

Gov. Abbott signs law abolishing DEI offices at Texas colleges, universities

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday signed into law legislation that eliminates diversity, equity and inclusion offices at the state’s public colleges and universities.

“An institution of higher education may not establish or maintain a diversity, equity, and inclusion office or hire or assign an employee of the institution, or contract with a third party, to perform the duties of a diversity, equity, and inclusion office,” states the legislation, Senate Bill 17, which takes effect at the start of the spring semester of the 2023-24 academic year.

Exceptions spelled out include “academic course instruction,” “research or creative works by an institution of higher education’s students or faculty,” and activities by student groups.

The new law also bans “ideological oaths,” or DEI statements, for hiring and enrollment.

“The days of political oaths, compelled speech, and racial profiling in university hiring are behind us,” state Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, the bill’s co-author, reportedly said after the bill’s passage. “Moving forward, Texas will prioritize the advancement of the most qualified individuals and endorse policies that promote diversity and equality for our great state.”

Any student or employee required to participate in any actions that violate the law “may bring an action against the institution for injunctive or declaratory relief.”

In response to the new law, Texas Students for DEI said the group is not surprised, but disappointed.

“You have put the quality of higher education in Texas at risk. We will continue mobilizing advocates for DEI and tenure, regardless. Thank you to everyone who has been supporting us in this fight; we won’t give up,” the group stated on Twitter.


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henrybowman | June 17, 2023 at 2:04 pm

So, what will DEI’s new name be in Texas now?

Irrelevant, as if Florida’s effort. DEI is embedded everywhere, the lack of a formal office changes nothing.

    artichoke in reply to randian. | June 17, 2023 at 10:26 pm

    They can’t pay anyone else to do that stuff either. Could be hard to enforce fully, but at least it keeps them on the run and trimmed down to size.

Louis K. Bonham | June 17, 2023 at 11:06 pm

Much as I wish I could celebrate SB17, unlike the politicians I’m willing to be honest about it.

The simple truth is that SB17 was so gutted by a cadre of RINO House members that it’s a completely toothless piece of Potemkin legislation. Those crowing about how great it is are just unwilling to admit that they got rolled by the Phelan machine in the Texas House.

I explain why, in detail, here:

    RedWrangler in reply to Louis K. Bonham. | June 18, 2023 at 10:49 am

    I’d love to see this salient post on Legal Insurrection. This is the type of analysis I come to this site for- readily readable legal analysis and legal related opinion.

As Louis Bonham’s post points out, this bill is flawed. But I also don’t share the same pessimism of others- It’s not going to eliminate DEI but is an inflection point. DEI will begin to regress and entrench. How do we keep it on the run?

    Louis K. Bonham in reply to RedWrangler. | June 18, 2023 at 11:55 am

    I hope you are correct, but the chatter I’d getting from “inside the walls” is that the “wire-arounds” and evasions are already being developed. E.g., Phelan’s machine slipped in an open-ended loophole for “research,” and so schools like UT are already planning to just rename their diversicrats and their activities as being “DEI Research.”

    The ONLY way SB17 will do anything is if the various boards of regents show some spine and adopt some serious compliance policies and procedures, and enforce them vigorously. But as the examples I cited in the PowerLine piece demonstrate, that would require a sea change in attitudes from the regents . . . and to date they have shown not the slightest inclination to do so, especially when they can virtue signal at no cost.

      RedWrangler in reply to Louis K. Bonham. | June 19, 2023 at 6:19 pm

      My next question is then, what do we do about it? The bill might be toothless, but how can violating the new law be used to drum up publicity and awareness that the people behind these policies are dishonest and detrimental?