A Texas law that went into effect on New Year’s Day 2024 bars universities from pushing racist “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) on Lone Star State campuses, but several higher education institutions have already committed to skirting the statute so they can keep promoting the preferential treatment of certain races, ethnicities, “gender identities,” and sexual orientations. By superficially changing the names of DEI offices and positions but substantially retaining the racist ideology driving DEI, these universities violate the new law.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office first called DEI on campuses into question in a scathing memo in February 2023. The directive, aimed at heads of his state’s universities, warned that hiring on asking color or ideology instead of “merit” violates federal and state laws.
“Rebranding this employment discrimination as ‘DEI’ doesn’t make the practice any less illegal,” Abbott’s chief of staff Gardner Pate wrote. “Further, when a state agency spends taxpayer dollars to fund offices, departments, or employee positions dedicated to promoting forbidden DEI initiatives, such actions are also inconsistent with the law.”
By May, the state legislature passed Senate Bill 17 prohibiting academic institutions from using the DEI…