Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott reportedly signed a bill outlawing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) offices and programs at higher education institutions into law on Wednesday.
State-funded colleges are no longer permitted to host events that favor one racial, ethnic, or gender group over another under SB 17 and must shut down their DEI offices.
“With this bold, forward-thinking legislation to eliminate DEI programs, Texas is leading the nation, and ensuring our campuses return to focusing on the strength of diversity and promoting a merit-based approach where individuals are judged on their qualifications, skills, and contributions. What sets SB 17 apart from other proposals is that the legislation delivers strong enforcement with mandates to return Texas colleges and universities to their core mission– educate and innovate.” State Sen. Brandon Creighton, a co-sponsor of the bill, said in a statement.
Prior to Abbott’s signing the bill into law on Wednesday, the state Senate and House both passed it in May.
Additionally, the legislation forbids obligatory DEI staff training and bars higher education institutions from taking into account diversity declarations from job candidates.
According to the news release, Abbott also ratified SB 18, which prohibits institutions from granting any workers tenure.
At the University of California, Berkeley, a DEI rubric was developed to take into account how job candidates have advanced diversity and equality efforts.
Higher education institutions all around the country use diversity statements to evaluate student and staff applications.