Thought of by many Texans as a relatively conservative university, a new report explains how Texas A&M has “gone woke” in recent years.

Scott Yenor, a Boise State professor and fellow at the Claremont Institute, explained during a recent interview on The Luke Macias Show how leftist Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policies have seeped into the campus.

DEI programs have come under fire recently for prioritizing factors like race, gender, and sexual orientation over merit in hiring, admission, and curriculum.

“Texas A&M has this reputation as being one of the more conservative public universities. I know a generation ago when someone asked me where I would send my kids to school, I said the best public university in the country is Texas A&M,” said Yenor.

But when Yenor began researching DEI programs in college campuses across the country, he found something troubling in Texas.

The interesting thing about these universities is that they advertise what they’re doing. They have a plan and they’re proud of the plan. And then they go about trying to execute the plan. And Texas A&M announced a very radical diversity plan in 2010 and has been executing it like on steroids the last two years.

Yenor mentioned recent efforts to take down a statue of former Confederate General and Texas Governor Sul Ross from campus. Though that movement was unsuccessful, Yenoer argued bigger factors are at play.

“There were attempts to take down statues and, and, you know, other other ways of affecting the campus climate symbolically. But the more important thing is that there’s been a real, real ratcheting up of their understanding of what they have to do. The 2020 diversity plan really concerns breaking down the systems of oppression in words like ‘merit,’ hiring the best person, and things like that,” said Yenor.

To that end, Yenor pointed out a shocking statistic: Texas A&M University currently has more DEI personnel than the University of Texas at Austin.

“It’s true at A&M that diversity is the new merit,” said Yenor.

When it comes to solutions, Yenor highlighted two separate proposals designed to tackle the issue: the recent gubernatorial order banning DEI statements from state agencies—including universities—as well as proposals to defund DEI offices altogether through the budget, a step already taken by Florida.

Yenor says the latter would be the most effective.

“Defunding the offices and salting the earth—that is, firing the people who were associated with these offices, if they don’t have any place to retreat to with tenure in the university—is actually a way to change and leverage new kinds of personnel on these universities who don’t want to get away or work around the governor’s orders,” said Yenor. “And it’s really true that personnel is policy on our universities.”

You can listen to the full interview on The Luke Macias Show here or on your favorite podcasting platform.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens