Home » Texas educators bow to pressure and halt new diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives

Texas educators bow to pressure and halt new diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives

by The Grio

New diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in Texas colleges are paused now, due to increasing pressure from Republican state legislators, including the state’s Republican governor, Greg Abbott, and his administration.

The University of Texas System, which has 13 institutions and more than 244,000 students, has suspended such initiatives following a Feb. 4 warning to state agencies from the governor’s office that DEI considerations in hiring are prohibited and violate state and federal anti-discrimination laws, according to The Austin American-Statesman.

“I also think it’s fair to say that in recent times, certain DEI efforts have strayed from the original intent,” UT System Board of Regents Chairman Kevin Eltife said Wednesday, The American-Statesman reported, “to now imposing requirements and actions that, rightfully so, has raised the concerns of our policymakers about those efforts on campuses across our entire state.”

Eltife, who, like all other board members, was appointed by Abbott, shared during the quarterly board meeting on Wednesday that the UT System Board of Regents sought a report on DEI policies for “a chance to review the various policies system-wide.”

During the legislative session, the Republican former Texas state senator noted that the UT System board would embrace lawmakers looking into DEI policies across Texas’ higher education system. He declared that the committee would collaborate with legislators “in any way possible” and implement any new regulations.

Several Texas colleges and universities adopted DEI initiatives that aimed to increase the sense of belonging among marginalized campus groups, such as people of color, LGBTQ individuals and people with disabilities.

While the specifics of the initiatives vary greatly among campuses, they frequently involve broad efforts to find diverse candidates for faculty and staff roles and draw…

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