Red State University Reverses Course On Shuttering ‘Diversity, Equity And Inclusion’ Offices Despite State Law

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Brandon Poulter Contributor
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The University of Houston has backtracked on shutting down its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and LGBTQ Resource Center following signage being posted saying they would be shut down, the university told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 17 in May, which prohibits DEI offices and preferential treatment of individuals based on race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation at public universities and colleges. Universities around the state then began shutting down DEI offices and race-based programs that may violate the policy, but the University of Houston reversed course on the decision to do so, saying it planned to find a way to continue keeping its campus diverse. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: GOP Senators Introduce Bill Banning Higher Ed Accreditors From Considering ‘Diversity’ Initiatives)

AUSTIN, TEXAS – JUNE 08: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott displays a bill he signed at a news conference at the state Capitol on June 08, 2023 in Austin, Texas.(Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

“The signage outside the DEI and LGBTQ offices was premature and posted without the full consultation and communication process we pride ourselves on. We understand the importance of keeping our community informed and will have details to share in the coming weeks,” Shawn Lindsey, associate vice chancellor and associate vice president media relations, told the DCNF.

Numerous states have filed legislation attempting to eliminate DEI practices. States such as Florida and Texas have already enacted DEI bans, and many other states, such as Iowa, Missouri and Arizona are considering such legislation.

“The UH System is in the process of creating a full implementation plan, which will be presented to the UH System Board of Regents later this month. As the policy takes shape, we will provide clear guidelines and resources to support our community through this transition. We value the academic, social and broader community benefits that arise from diverse campuses and our commitment to our entire university community has not changed,” Lindsey said.

“We will continue to work with impacted units to ensure compliance while maintaining our focus on student success. Both offices are still operating. The Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has moved suites,” Lindsey said.

Abbott did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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