As UT-Austin works to come into compliance with Senate Bill 17—a state law banning diversity, equity, and inclusion offices on taxpayer-funded college campuses—a leftist faculty group is complaining that DEI employees were “shocked” by formal termination letters.

As previously reported by Texas Scorecard, earlier this month UT Austin President Jay Hartzell sent a campus-wide email where he announced the state’s flagship university would disband its “division of campus and community engagement.” Now, formal termination letters have been sent to staff.

According to the UT-Austin chapter of the “American Association of University Professors,” a far-left group that supports the status quo in higher education, on April 2, Vice President of People and Talent Roger Cude sent a letter to the employees in question informing them of the university’s decision. AAUP-UT posted the letter to their website on April 11.

The letter informs the terminated employees that their final day of employment will be July 5. The letter then requests assistance in the orderly wind-down of the offices. Employees “will be automatically enrolled in the Special Consideration Program,” placing them in an advantaged position for other positions at the university. Those employees for whom new positions cannot be found will be given career coaching and HR support.

Nevertheless, this is not enough for AAUP-UT, which claimed:

The following termination letter was without warning and came as a complete shock. The letter gives no reason for the termination nor acknowledges the work the staff member had done to comply with SB 17. The letter does not acknowledge that they had been promised that they would not lose their jobs. The staff member received no due process prior to the received the letter and the notice does not describe the options for due process for the staff member such as an appeal or grievance. There is no severance package. There is no description of how to continue employment benefits after the determination date, for example extending the health insurance coverage using COBRA where the staff person pays the cost of the health insurance.

Not everyone, however, agrees with the group’s assessment.

Attorney Tony McDonald, who attended UT for both undergrad and law school, told Texas Scorecard, “Amazing—cry me a river. The bill passes. [One year] later (so this is not totally unexpected), they’re told they [get] 95 more days of pay to basically do nothing (wind your unit down), and they get special treatment and counseling to find another job. These people need to experience what it’s like to have a real job.”

Adam Cahn

Adam is a longtime conservative activist and an avid UT and Yankees fan.