After a law took effect banning Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies in higher education, an investigation appeared to show Dallas College was breaking the new law. 

An investigation by The Dallas Express revealed that a dozen job listings for the college mandated that employees advance or adhere to DEI policies as a condition of employment. 

Senate Bill 17, which took effect in January, effectively prohibits Texas universities from hiring employees to “perform the duties” of a DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) office and is supposed to block any promotion of policies, training, or activities “designed or implemented in reference to race, color, or ethnicity.”

Despite the law being in effect, Dallas College attempted to skirt the new law with various job postings. 

The job listings, which were still up on their website as early as Tuesday evening, were for various positions within the college and all mandated DEI adherence. 

Under the minimum qualifications for the Department Chair of Culinary Arts and Hospitality role, the description stated that a candidate must have at least “three years of higher education-based experience” and a “demonstrated commitment to diversity and equity in education.”

The role of the Vice Provost of E-Learning required a candidate to have a “deep appreciation for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and a track record of promoting these values within the academic school.”

The Awards Coordinator position is responsible for coordinating students with scholarships and also listed DEI. The posting called for applicants with a “demonstrated knowledge of principles of equity and inclusion and a demonstrated commitment to the promotion of diversity.”

Another job description, the Military-Connected Services Program Lead, also required the employee to have a “proven track record of enhancing…institutional diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

The listings have since been updated to not reflect any DEI initiatives. 

Dallas College responded to an inquiry by The Dallas Express, saying that they are committed to following the law, but due to hundreds of job postings, some of them didn’t get updated when the law took effect. 

“Dallas College is committed to following all applicable laws and has worked diligently to comply with the requirements of SB 17 which became effective approximately three months ago.  The College conducted a thorough review of its job descriptions and job postings prior to the effective date of the law, however, in an institution with hundreds of roles and hundreds of job postings it is possible that, despite its diligent efforts, additional work remains to be done.  The referenced job postings appear to have been posted since the effective date of SB 17 and appear to contain language that might run contrary to Dallas College’s commitment to compliance with SB 17. Those postings and others will be removed and reviewed to ensure compliance with this new law.  Dallas College will continue to train employees on the requirements of SB 17.”

Besides Dallas College, other Texas universities have attempted to skirt the DEI ban. 

As previously reported, an undercover investigation revealed that after a month of the law being in effect, multiple universities around Texas admitted to skirting the DEI ban, with some saying they would continue doing DEI work. 

State Sen. Brandon Creighton (R–Conroe), author of SB 17, told Texas Scorecard, “Since becoming law in January, the majority of Texas public colleges and universities have worked to implement SB 17 and eliminate DEI offices on campus. In the coming weeks, the Senate Committee on Higher Education will announce the first interim hearing ahead of the 89th Legislative session where we will evaluate the early achievements of this policy and exercise full oversight.”

“We have been very clear, over the past few months, that counsel for each of these institutions guides university leadership in a manner that keeps their clients compliant with these recent statutory changes. Any diversion will be met with consequences,” he added. 

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.