Texas Colleges Face Red State’s Ban on Diversity Offices

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

(TheRedWire.com) – Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a member of the Republican Party, has signed a new law that prohibits the establishment of diversity, equity, and inclusion offices in public colleges within the state. This legislation makes Texas the second state in the United States to enforce such a ban, following in the footsteps of Florida.

The bill received approval from both chambers of the state legislature last month. According to the law, it mandates that the governing boards of these colleges refrain from establishing or maintaining an office dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Additionally, they are prohibited from hiring third-party entities or employees to handle the responsibilities typically assigned to such offices. Public universities are also restricted from granting preferential treatment to job applicants based on race, gender, ethnicity, or national origin. Furthermore, all mandatory diversity, equity, and inclusion training must be discontinued.

These restrictions, however, will not impact course instruction, scholarly research, or the work of students, faculty members, or other personnel. To ensure compliance with the law, the state auditor will conduct regular audits of each institution. If any violations are identified, the respective institution will be given 180 days to rectify them, as failure to do so may result in the loss of funding.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has been assigned the task of conducting a biennial study until 2029 to assess the law’s impact on college admissions, acceptance rates, student retention, and graduation rates.

The law is scheduled to take effect next year. In February, Governor Abbott also advocated for the cessation of diversity hiring by the agency, citing concerns over its constitutionality.

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