Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, signed legislation that prohibits diversity offices in public universities and colleges.

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By The StuffSy

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and The Supreme Court is largely anticipated to forbid schools and universities from using race as a deciding factor in admissions decisions later this month, therefore the statute was passed at the same time from 2024.

 

A bill that was approved by Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday forbids diversity, equality, and inclusion offices in public schools and institutions in Texas beginning in 2024.

The final version of Senate Bill 17, which would prohibit public higher education institutions from maintaining or establishing DEI offices, was approved by the Texas Legislature’s two chambers in May. Additionally, it forbids universities from requiring students to submit DEI declarations or take part in DEI training.

Greg Abbott

The legislation defines a DEI office as one that provides different treatment to people based on race, sex, color, or ethnicity through any policies, procedures, training, programs or activities. Under the law, students or employees could sue universities for “injunctive or declaratory relief” if they are required to participate in any DEI training.

 

Republican legislators in Texas have devoted most of this year’s legislative session to criticising DEI offices and projects they claim are contentious and have a “chilling effect” on faculty and student expression.

Texas students and academics, on the other hand, have resisted, arguing that DEI offices and programmed ought to continue in order to support the inclusion and success of persons of color on campus.

 

Banning them, according to state senator Brandon Creighton, a Republican from Conroe, is a triumph for free speech, Texas colleges, and the state’s “commitment to fostering true diversity and merit in higher education.” According to him, closing DEI offices will save the taxpayers millions of dollars while reestablishing “free inquiry, meritocracy, equal opportunity (and) genuine innovation.”

 

In a statement, Creighton declared that “the days of political oaths, compelled speech, and racial profiling in university hiring are behind us.” Moving forward, Texas will give the progress of the most talented people top priority and support laws that enhance equality and diversity in our wonderful state.

 

Dan Patrick, the lieutenant governor in charge of the Senate, made the bill a top priority for this session. Academic course instruction, research, student organization activities, student recruiting, and admissions are not governed by the law.

Texas Students for DEI, a group of college students, issued a statement denouncing the “misguided decision to remove DEI offices and programmed” from university campuses. According to them, DEI creates a “open and supportive environment” on college campuses, and its removal will jeopardies institutions’ capacity to assist marginalized students.

 

State Senator Brandon Creighton, a Republican and one of the bill’s authors, said in a statement: “Texas is leading the nation and ensuring our campuses return to focusing on the strength of diversity and promoting a merit-based approach where individuals are judged on their qualifications, skills, and contributions.”

The bill’s signature, according to Paulette Granberry Russell, president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, was a “sad occasion for all students at Texas’ public universities.”

“Texas lawmakers have chosen to priorities a political agenda over the success of these students by dismantling diversity, equity, and inclusion programmer and offices at these institutions,” Russell said.

 

She asserted that a varied student body benefits all students, regardless of ethnicity, and that her organization would continue to push Texas colleges to become more open to all students.

 

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