After it was reported that some Texas universities are attempting to skirt a state law requiring all public colleges and universities to dissolve any internal DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) programs, Republican State Sen. Brandon Creighton of Conroe is calling them out. 

Creighton authored Senate Bill 17, which 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.”

The measure also prohibits universities from requiring ideological oath statements relating to race, equity, antiracism, and social justice, though universities may still hire candidates based on their studies of these topics.

Creighton told Texas Scorecard that if these universities fail to adhere to the new state law, the Texas Senate will be determined to consider funding clawbacks. 

Now that SB 17 is law, I’m confident that Texas public colleges and universities can return to their core mission of innovation and education—and if they do not, the Texas Senate will be resolute in enforcement of this legislation, which includes provisions for university funding clawbacks, should there be violations.

Despite the new law that took effect on January 1, multiple Texas universities have said they will continue the same practices under different names. 

New information from Texas Tech University (TTU) revealed that while the college shut down the DEI office and some staff that the department employed have left, they have moved certain “support services” to various other departments. 

“We’re gonna move certain support services into certain areas that align with really who they served and what they did,” said TTU’s President Lawrence Schovanec.

While TTU did close the DEI and LGBTQIA Education and Engagement offices, the university’s Black Cultural Center has been renamed to the Student Enrichment Center. According to the university, some of the activities, resources, and support that students received from the closed departments have been moved to other offices like the Provost Office, Mental Health Wellness, and Financial Aid.

Additionally, Texas A&M University (TAMU) has come under fire for planning to restrict the school’s responsiveness to public records requests after they received an open records request from The American Accountability Foundation. The request was regarding the TAMU nursing school’s support for DEI. TAMU claimed the requests were “threatening and amount to harassment.”

Texas Scorecard also reported last week on multiple Texas universities—including the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Houston Downtown—attempting to circumvent the law and change the names of departments in order to continue pushing leftist ideology. 

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.