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Texas university clears DEI offices, fires employees in light of new state law: report

The University of Texas at Austin has laid off dozens of employees who were working on its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) program to comply with a new state law, according to a report.

Jay Herzl, President, University of Texas at Austin announced On Tuesday, the school’s Campus and Community Engagement Department will be disbanded and its programs and funding transferred to other departments.

The announcement comes as the university strives to comply with a new Texas law that goes into effect on January 1 and effectively dissolves DEI agencies at public universities in the state.

of austin american politician a person familiar with the situation said 60 positions related to DEI work have been eliminated at UT-Austin.

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Aerial view of the University of Texas at Austin at sunset. (St. Petersburg)

The law requires all governing boards of public universities to prohibit their institutions from establishing and maintaining DEI offices and issuing “DEI statements.” Additionally, hiring practices and training are no longer obsolete. Can use DEI statements.

“I recognize that strong emotions have surrounded SB 17 from the beginning and will shape many Longhorns’ perceptions of these measures,” Hartzell wrote, referring to the new law. “It is also important that this community remains a welcoming and supportive community for all.”

Hartzell said in his message that student jobs will remain through the remainder of the semester and furloughed employees can apply for other positions at the university.

The firings came after state Sen. Brandon Clayton (R) outlined expectations for how the university would comply with state law.he wrote this letter The bill “requires fundamental changes in the management of institutions of higher education,” he said, expressing the serious nature of the bill. He added that universities are expected to foster a “results-based environment”.

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senator brandon clayton

The Senate Education Committee will hold a hearing in May on how colleges are complying with SB 17, according to a letter written by Sen. Brandon Clayton. (YouTube screenshot)

Additionally, he said the Texas Senate Education Committee will hold a hearing in May to investigate presidents and higher education “general counselors” to demonstrate how universities are complying with the law. It was explained that. If universities don’t comply with state law, they could lose funding, Clayton warned.

Of the five specific questions regarding compliance, a university spokesperson said, “Your university does not have a DEI office or officer on campus, or does not have a DEI office or officer on campus, or an individual or organization that performs the duties of a DEI office or officer. How did you ensure that it did not exist?”

Cultural graduates were also victims of the impact of this law, which sparked anger from some students.

When the University’s Multicultural Exchange Center (MEC) was closed in accordance with state law, Black Commencement, Latinx Commencement, and Asian Commencement were affected as a result.

Republican Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) has introduced a bill that would freeze federal funding to colleges that force students to sign DEI statements or statements. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

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Congressman Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas; submitted a bill Freeze federal funding to colleges that force students to sign DEI statements or statements.

Last week, the University of Florida terminated all DEI employees in accordance with state law.

FOX News’ Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this report.

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