In preparation for a new state law banning diversity, equity, and inclusion departments from public universities in January, the University of North Texas’ president, Neal Smatresk, has announced his plans to dissolve the DEI department.

Senate Bill 17 was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott during the 88th Legislative Session. It requires all public colleges and universities to dissolve any internal DEI programs.

In an email to the university community on Tuesday, Smatresk laid out his plans to dissolve UNT’s DEI office.

According to Smatresk’s email, he plans to “reorganize” the campus multicultural center, pride alliance, and other programs currently under the DEI office. He has already decided to move offices such as Title IX, equal employment opportunity, and affirmative action to the division of finance and administration.

Smatresk wrote that UNT’s DEI Vice President Joanne Woodard would be retiring on October 1. However, Smatresk has said he plans to reassign other staff from the DEI office to different offices within the university.

“Our leadership team has been working hard to make sure we continue to support our diverse student body, faculty, and staff in our values-based environment,” said Smatresk.

“The changes we are making have been undertaken with the guidance of the UNT System’s Office of General Counsel to ensure we are adhering to state and federal law as a state institution,” he continued.

Smatresk plans to “comply with SB 17 and federal law” but will continue supporting all students and their “needs.”

In the past, Smatresk has taken bold “woke” stances on several topics within the university, such as gender mutilation and gender ideology, while also demonstrating a distaste for conservatives and their values.

The Young Conservatives of Texas at UNT hosted Jeff Younger—a Texas father who advocates for parental rights and against forcing dangerous drugs and life-altering “sex-change” surgeries onto children in the name of “gender transition”—in early 2022. But when a leftist mob of students protested and screamed, threatening violence toward Younger and other conservatives, Smatresk sided with the mob.

UNT has also pushed gender “affirmation” and “affirmative action” as a part of their DEI core values.

Late last year, it was discovered that the Dallas location was helping transgender students change their gender on state documents.

Additionally, Texas Scorecard previously reported on the university’s “OUTfits Clothing Closet,” where they offer students chest binders and fake genitalia.

However, despite dissolving the DEI department, Smatresk mentioned he will “continue to support our diverse student body” and “ensure that the Division of Student Affairs provides the support all our students need.”

Per SB 17, all DEI offices at Texas public colleges must be eliminated by January 1, 2024.

As of publication, Smatresk did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s request for comment.

Soli Rice

A journalist for Texas Scorecard, Soli is a new Texan with a passion for politics. She's excited to hone her writing skills and help spread truth to Texans.