DEI dominoes continue to fall; another red state passes laws, woke students wail over closures

DEI dominoes continued to fall as another red state university became the latest to shutter offices in compliance with state law.

In a boon for conservatism, the desire not to be outdone by other states in combatting the culture war has seen measures advanced to strip away encroaching Marxist ideologies. A month after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had signed legislation to outlaw diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) at state-funded universities in May 2023, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had authorized a similar law that meant an end to at least 60 jobs at the University of Texas at Austin.

Tuesday, after UT Austin President Jay Hartzell had issued an email to the school’s community regarding their compliance with Senate Bill 17, the Austin American-Statesman had reported an end to the Division of Campus and Community Engagement accounted for 40 layoffs that would come with the end of the semester.

“The new law has changed the scope of some programs on campus, making them broader and creating duplication with long-standing existing programs supporting students, faculty, and staff,” wrote Hartzell. “Following those reviews, we have concluded that additional measures are necessary to reduce overlaps, streamline student-facing portfolios, and optimize and redirect resources into our fundamental activities of teaching and research.”

The Manhattan Institute’s Christopher Rufo shared the message from the president with one of his own regarding the law that went into effect Jan. 1 and said, “We will not stop until DEI is abolished and salted over.”

As the UT Austin community reached the “find out” stage of the FAFO acronym, students in the embrace of DEI wailed over the change and even asserted that the law seeking to enforce merit-based achievement among other policies was indicative of racism on the part of the Lone Star State.

“A lot of people are upset. All of my group chats are raging. All of the GroupMes, all of the Slacks — everybody is raging,” a black junior at UT Austin had told KVUE adding, “This is just Texas. Texas does not want us here. Texas has never wanted us here.”

Prior to the law being signed by Abbott, Rufo had highlighted some of the “empowering” efforts at UT Austin courtesy of a “Diversity Commitment” that included a “Language Matters: Glossary of Terms” that had included the definition for “Wimmin: A nonstandard spelling of the word ‘women’ used by feminists to avoid the word ending ‘-men.'”

Elsewhere, the university had produced a taxpayer-funded guidebook on “affirming asexuality” exploring the full spectrum of the rainbow mafia.

Now, according to Hartzell, the funding that would have been allocated toward the DEI programs will be transferred to other divisions.

With the Texas Senate Committee on Education slated to hold a hearing in May to see how universities are holding up their responsibilities related to SB 17, the school’s president noted, “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.”

Prior to the announcement from Hartzell, state Sen. Brandon Creighton (R) had issued a warning to Texas universities and colleges that merely changing the name of programs would not suffice and “this letter should serve as notice that this practice is unacceptable.”

“Recognized as the most robust DEI prohibition in the nation, this bill mandates a fundamental shift in the operation of our higher education institutions,” stated Creighton.

Kevin Haggerty


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