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Pushback: The legislative effort in Texas to end DEI in state colleges is beginning to work

Bring a gun to a knife fight: When the Texas state legislature passed a law last May (subsequently signed by Governor Greg Abbott) to ban all Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs in state colleges, I expressed some doubts about whether this legislature would work.

The universities have simply been told the money they formally spent on DEI can no longer be spent on such racist operations. Since they have the cash anyway, what will prevent college administrators to create a new office with a new name, let’s call it the “Openness and Support Office”, and hire the fired DEI staffers that have been terminated from a different college. By simply rearranging the chairs, these administrators — who apparently all enthusiastically support DEI’s Marxist and racist program — can recreate it without making it obvious. And the legislature has agreed to give them the funds for doing so.

It appears the house-cleaning is beginning in Texas universities
It appears the DEI house-cleaning is beginning
in Texas’ universities.

Since then, Texas university administrations have been responding to the legislation in a variety of ways, all of which suggest that, though my doubts continue to have merit, the bill is having a laudatory effect. This week the University of Texas at Austin announced that it is shuttering its DEI offices and terminating around sixty people associated with these bigoted programs. From the email announcement by the university president, Jay Hartzell:

[F]unding used to support DEI across campus prior to SB 17’s effective date will be redeployed to support teaching and research. As part of this reallocation, associate or assistant deans who were formerly focused on DEI will return to their full-time faculty positions. The positions that provided support for those associate and assistant deans and a small number of staff roles across campus that were formerly focused on DEI will no longer be funded.

Last year, Hartzell and this unversity were sued by one of its professors, Richard Lowery, because it tried to silence his public criticism of the university’s racist “diversity, equity, and inclusion” policies as well as the university’s efforts, led by Hartzell, to insert political propaganda into its courses. The unversity threatened Lowery’s job, even as it cut his pay and monitored his speech.

At that time Hartzell and the DEI crowd at his college were on the offensive. Now Hartzell and that crowd are retreating, though it is very clear Hartzell is doing everything he can to save these programs by embedding them throughout the school rather than eliminating them entirely.

Nor is this the only Texas university attempting to get around the new law and finding it hard to do so. In January officials running the University of Texas in San Antonio first tried to defy the law by simply renaming its DEI offices. When it was clear that wouldn’t work, officials said they would shutter the office, but would also “leverage the strong capabilities of our existing offices and divisions to realign ADA and disability services, campus climate and community engagement activities across various institutional divisions.”

Like Austin, San Antonio is going to try to keep its DEI indoctrination programs alive by embedding the people who push them throughout the school within many departments. It is in retreat, but it has not yet surrendered.

Don't tread on me
It appears this is the attitude Texas is taking

Will these tactics work? There are signs they won’t. It appears the Texas legislature is watching, and will not tolerate any of these games. According to governor Abbott, more laws will be passed in the next legislative session to make sure schools are enforcing the DEI ban. In other words, the state’s elected officials will not tolerate these games, and will move to significantly cut funding if it sees them occurring.

The question remains: Are these colleges even worth saving? Maybe, but it is likely that the only way to do so will be a major house-cleaning that literally fires a large number of the administrators and professors at these schools who are truly bigoted and racist and want DEI indoctrination to continue. As long as they are running these schools the education they teach will be poor and inappropriate.

In the end the real solution falls to parents and students. They must choose the colleges they attend more wisely. If these universities won’t change, then their customers must find other universities to go to.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • Jeff Wright

    The solution is simple–sociology must become extracurricular and not required for graduation–and taught off campus.

  • sippin_bourbon

    The long term damage from DEI will be impossible to measure. I also expect it to morph, change labels and names to get around these types of laws.

  • Related: The authoritarian state.

    Dr. John Campbell:

    This ongoing in Britan but we can all clearly see that they also want it to be fostered right here in America.

  • James Street

    The only way to have equality of outcome is to punish the over achievers and reward the under achievers.

    “Seattle Public Schools shuts down gifted and talented program for being oversaturated with white and Asian students”
    “Seattle Public Schools is dismantling its gifted and talented program, which administrators argued was oversaturated with white and Asian students, in favor of a more ‘inclusive, equitable and culturally sensitive’ program.”

  • sippin_bourbon

    Harrison Bergeron.

  • Max

    Utah passes bill against DEI programs.
    Utah university spends as much on DEI as it does for all other school operations… Over $1 billion. Here’s the schools response taken from a local newspaper.

    “What should come after DEI?”
    “Randall told members of the University of Utah’s Academic Senate earlier this month that HB261 would not change the values of the institution and that the university will take the time to “understand all of the ramifications before making massive organizational changes.”

    He said despite having to change the name of their DEI office, employees will not lose their jobs because of the bill. He also said he didn’t believe the bill was an attempt to shut down discussions around diversity or social inequality.”

    In other words, they’re going to ignore the bill. As long as their funding keeps coming in, nothing will change. The legislature did not really mean to stop the progressive religion or they would’ve cut their budget.

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