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Critics warn schools are skirting Texas DEI ban after university shuffles DEI officials to other departments

Texas A&M University defied a state law banning diversity, equity and inclusion on university campuses by giving deans a raise before reassigning them and other staff to other departments. This raised concerns that the school was trying to further “embed” controversial practices into Texas universities, despite the law.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed legislation banning DEI on college campuses in June 2023. In the months that followed, Texas A&M redeployed several DEI employees to other departments, including the vice president of programs, and received a 10% raise, new position, and nine months, according to documents obtained by Fox News Digital. paid vacation.

Documents obtained through a FOIA request show that in August 2023, Vice President of Diversity Annie McGowan was given a “5% raise based on her performance” and “an additional 5% raise to address equity issues.” is shown to have been given. ”

The moves after the DEI bill have raised concerns that Texas universities are restructuring their DEI staff while encouraging them to continue their efforts through other positions.

University of Texas hell-bent on eliminating DEI office: ‘The brutality is astonishing’

“Rather than directing resources to programs that promote academic excellence, Texas A&M leaders are redoubling their allegiance to DEI ideology,” Do No Harm Chairman Dr. Stanley Goldfarb said on FOX He told News Digital.

“Giving a former DEI director an explicit pay raise based on so-called equity and redistributing the staff of a disbanded DEI department to other management positions is an attempt to incorporate DEI into any department, and we are not willing to do so.” “It blatantly ignores the Texas law passed to prohibit it. This ideology undermines the mission and trust of institutions of higher education and must end.”

Texas A&M has indicated since the bill’s passage that it remains focused on incorporating DEI principles through its faculty.

“Let me be clear: At Texas A&M, we remain a welcoming environment for all, and we will continue to value, respect and leverage the unique perspectives you bring to our institution.” Texas A&M said Mark A. Welsh, President. he wrote in September 2023.

University of Texas restructures DEI office and lays off employees in light of new state law: Report

Diversity Equity and Inclusion University of Oklahoma

Universities are increasingly moving toward DEI. (Fox News Digital)

“Diversity of thought is the cornerstone of a great university, and frankly, it’s a critical element of our continued success. The implementation of SB 17 won’t change that.”

Several other universities have indicated they continue to promote DEI principles despite the law, The Federalist reported earlier this year.

Universities in Texas have begun laying off employees in DEI departments in response to the bill, and Republican state Sen. Brandon Clayton, who authored the bill, recently said that state universities should take the bill “very seriously.” and warned that we should not try to get around it through sneaky workarounds or sneaky workarounds. They will face financial penalties.

House Republicans move to end federal government’s ‘rotten’ DEI program

Texas A&M

I am saddened that Texas universities are doing everything they can to circumvent our new law and continue to promote divisive left-wing DEI at taxpayer expense and under a new name. I have extraordinary concerns,” Republican Texas Congressman Brian Harrison told FOX News Digital.

A Texas A&M University spokesperson told FOX News Digital that 5% of McGowan’s raise is “an increase in standard merit for her job over the previous year,” and the remaining 5% is for “fairness and equality.” “This is a salary adjustment approved by the former president to ensure gender equality,” he said. She compares her teaching to her colleagues within her school. ” A spokesperson said the salary increases are not related to DEI practices.

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The spokesperson added that the university is “committed to complying with the law. Last year we introduced a comprehensive framework of measures and procedures to effectively fulfill our legal obligations and responsibilities.”

“We appreciate the opportunity to clarify this misconception, as it is simply not accurate,” the spokesperson said. “Texas A&M is following new legislation. DEI-related positions have been eliminated university-wide. As we continue to evolve and adapt to meet the needs of our student body, our commitment to academic excellence at Texas A&M remains We continue to be at the forefront of everything we do.

“Texas A&M’s Office of Diversity had eight positions, all of which have been eliminated, along with programs and initiatives that existed before January 1, 2024, when SB 17 went into effect,” the spokesperson continued. “The university was able to identify open positions that matched each person’s skill set. Six of the eight accepted her A&M offer and took a new job on campus, but the remaining Both of them have decided to retire.”

“Dozens of positions across the university had various DEI-related responsibilities, but none accounted for more than 25% of their total duties.The Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness Group worked with supervisors to We have eliminated all related roles and created new responsibilities for those employees.”

Harrison told Fox News Digital that Republican lawmakers in Texas are working to prevent universities from circumventing anti-DEI laws.

“There are a lot of left-wing Marxist professors, and I want to get rid of them,” Harrison told Fox News Digital. “because We don’t want voters to be forced to pay for it. If anyone wants to study this leftist garbage, they can. But my voters aren’t going to pay that price over my dead body. ”

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