Massive University System Pauses ‘Diversity, Equity And Inclusion’ Policies After Republican Pressure

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Alexa Schwerha Contributor
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The University of Texas university system paused all new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) policies at its 13 campuses on Wednesday.

The UT Board of Regents chairman Kevin Eltife made the announcement during the Wednesday board meeting during which he said that “DEI efforts have strayed from the original intent,” according to the meeting recording. University leaders will be required to send reports outlining the school’s DEI policies for the board to review during the suspension. (RELATED: University Department Drops ‘Ideological Purity Tests’ For Applicants After Report)

“The topic of DEI activities on college campuses has received tremendous attention nationally and here in Texas,” Eltife said. “To be clear, we welcome, celebrate and strive for diversity on our campuses in our student and our faculty population.”

Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s administration warned earlier this month that using DEI as a hiring standard violates civil rights law, and that it is illegal to use taxpayer money to support DEI programs on campus. Texas legislators introduced a bill in December 2022 to eliminate DEI at colleges and universities.

“We welcome our elected officials in this legislative session looking into DEI policies throughout higher education in Texas,” Eltife said. “We will work with them in any way possible, and we will certainly implement any new policies the Legislature puts in place.”

Eltife then said that the board “may consider a uniform DEI policy for the entire UT System.”

The announcement mirrors several calls from state officials to monitor DEI spending on college campuses. Florida, South Carolina and Oklahoma governors all required higher education institutions to submit reports detailing how much taxpayer money is spent to bolster DEI activities on campus.

The UT System did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment. Eltife could not be reached for comment.

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