The Texas A&M University System announced Thursday it will no longer allow diversity statements to be considered when weighing applicants for hire, according to a news release.
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp ordered all 11 universities and its eight agencies to stop requiring applicants to submit statements that outline their commitment to practicing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in their work, according to the release. Sharp required leaders to review employment and admission practices and said he would implement a standardized practice that limits applicant materials to a cover letter, curriculum vitae, statements about teaching or research philosophies and references. (RELATED: Half Of Professors Believe Diversity Statements ‘Violate Academic Freedom,’ Survey Finds)
“No university or agency in the A&M System will admit any student, nor hire any employee based on any factor other than merit,” the release reads.
▶️JUST IN pic.twitter.com/xWwYM6ciIz
— Rusty Surette (@KBTXRusty) March 2, 2023
The order comes after Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s Chief of Staff Garder Pate sent a letter to state university leaders on Feb. 6 reminding them that using DEI as a hiring standard is illegal. The letter also said that taxpayer money cannot be spent to fund DEI programs and initiatives.
“The Texas A&M University System will continue its land grant mission by ensuring Texans from all walks of life are served by our institutions,” Sharpe said in the news release. “We believe serving Texas can be accomplished best by recruiting the brightest and most qualified students, faculty and staff.”
The decision comes nearly one week after the University of Texas System suspended all DEI policies while the Board of Regents conducts a review. Texas Tech University announced in February that it would ban the use of diversity statements after a National Association of Scholars report revealed that its biology department weighed having a lesser understanding or commitment to embracing DEI as a candidate weakness.
Texas A&M University System did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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