Hook ‘Em Horns! University of Texas Gives DEI Staff the Hook.

It’s nice to see states and state universities waking up to the detrimental reality of DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) initiatives. After the state of Texas passed a law requiring state colleges and universities to dismantle their DEI programs effective the beginning of this year, the University of Texas (UT) announced on Tuesday that it is ending DEI programs in its Division of Campus and Community Engagement (DCCE).


National Review reports that Senate Bill 17 “requires state universities to close their DEI offices. It also bans mandatory diversity training and restricts companies from asking job candidates to pledge their commitment to diversity as a condition of employment.”

UT President Jay Hartzell admitted that the decisions on how to comply with the law came with a certain amount of soul-searching. Between the lines, it’s also obvious that the discussions came with some CYA.

“Our initial focus was to ensure we made the required changes by SB 17’s January 1 effective date, but we knew that more work would be required to utilize our talent and resources most effectively in support of our teaching and research missions, and ultimately, our students,” Hartzell wrote in a statement.

Sources told the Austin American-Statesman that ending the university’s DEI programs meant laying off at least 60 employees, although these staff members can apply for other positions at the university. However, UT didn’t respond to the newspaper’s request for a comment on the layoffs.

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Hartzell wrote that the move to eliminate the programs was “necessary to reduce overlap, streamline student-facing portfolios, and optimize and redirect resources into our fundamental activities of teaching and research.” At the same time, he expressed his awareness that the move didn’t go down smoothly in the Lone Star State’s bastion of leftism.

“I recognize that strong feelings have surrounded SB 17 from the beginning and will shape many Longhorns’ perceptions of these measures,” Hartzell wrote. “It is important that we respect the perspectives and experiences of our fellow Longhorns as the changes we are announcing today take effect. It is also important that this continues to be a welcoming, supportive community for all.”

“Respect for our students, faculty, and staff will be essential as we make these changes,” he added.

The move to lay off DEI staff at UT comes at the same time that a Harvard professor pulled back the curtain of DEI in an op-ed, which Rick wrote about. Law professor Randall Kennedy wrote that DEI’s “proliferation of diversity statements poses a profound challenge to academic freedom.”

UT’s DEI initiatives came with $13 million in annual salaries for staff, according to a lawsuit from finance professor Richard Lowery, who sued the school for allegedly “retaliating against him for publicly opposing DEI.”


National Review reports that Lowery appeared on multiple podcasts decrying the school’s DEI efforts, and a dean told Lowery that he was “crossing a line.” One dean even reportedly threatened another faculty member with termination for refusing to tell Lowery to stop speaking out.

Good for the University of Texas, and God bless the state of Texas for pulling DEI programs from its public universities. If only other states and institutions would follow suit — and soon.

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