Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Texas Set to Ban Radical DEI Indoctrination at Public Universities

'The days of political oaths, compelled speech and racial profiling in university hiring are behind us... '

(Robert Jonathan, Headline USA) A law banning diversity, equity and inclusion gatekeeping in public universities in Texas is on its way to GOP Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk.

Both chambers of the state legislature passed Senate Bill 17 on Sunday. Taking effect on January 1, 2024, the bill shuts down existing DEI offices and bans any new hires from carrying out DEI-related duties.

It also prohibits radical training programs for employees or students that in practice have become forums for far-left indoctrination that often creates divisive and artificial categories of oppressor and victim with Marxist connotations.

Among other provisions, the law reaffirms that hiring practices at these taxpayer-funded educational institutions must be “color-blind and sex-neutral in accordance with any applicable state and federal antidiscrimination laws.”

So-called diversity statements required of job applicants will also soon be a thing of the past.

Texas universities can’t spend any state money until they certify compliance with the new law, and the law includes state oversight in form of periodic compliance audits. In addition, the text of the bill suggests that any student or employee forced into a DEI program can take a school to court.

Gov. Abbott is very likely to sign the bill. Under state law, he has 10 or 20 days (depending upon whether the legislature is about to adjourn) to make decision, which could include letting it become law without his signature.

Critics of the DEI ideology, who have often reshuffled the DEI acronym to DIE, argue that the agenda that has gained such currency in education, government and corporations that it actually results in conformity, unfairness and exclusion.

Acrimony rather than unity is similarly seen as a  byproduct.

In a statement, GOP State Sen. Brandon Creighton, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said that “The days of political oaths, compelled speech, and racial profiling in university hiring are behind us. Moving forward, Texas will prioritize the advancement of the most qualified individuals and endorse policies that promote diversity and equality for our great state.”

Florida governor and GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis recently approved a bill precluding any federal or state funds spent on DEI offices or staff in the Sunshine State.

Several other red states may soon follow suit.

Observers separately maintain that universities that have substantially expanded campus  bureaucracies, DEI-related or otherwise, and then passed along the costs to classroom customers in the form of soaring tuition, is one of the reasons why student loan debt relief has become a major issue.

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