UT Austin Fires Scores of DEI-Affiliated Personnel

Evan Poellinger | April 8, 2024
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The University of Texas at Austin has terminated the employment of at least 60 members of the university’s staff, in accordance with Texas’ anti-Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) law (Senate Bill 17).

The roughly 60 staff members were all affiliated with ideological DEI-related positions at the school in some shape or form. A week ago, on March 26, State Sen. Brandon Creighton (R) sent a letter warning the University of Texas system to comply with the law or otherwise face “the potential freezing of university funding and legal ramifications for non-compliance.” Creighton also included a series of questions to be answered by University of Texas schools by May 3, including whether the schools had prohibited DEI offices and training, as well as discontinuation of diversity statements.

Along with the firing of the tens of DEI-affiliated employees, UT Austin has also shut down its Division of Campus and Community Engagement, which had previously been known as the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. This change stems from another element of Sen. Creighton’s letter, which noted that some universities chose “to merely rename their offices or employee titles,” of which Creighton declared “this practice is unacceptable.” Non-DEI programs, which were part of the division, will be redistributed to other university divisions, while funding for the office that was previously earmarked for DEI efforts will instead be utilized for “teaching and research.”

The firings represent a monumental blow to DEI in a state where some universities had fought covertly to keep such programs – which replace education with ideology – alive.

In February, 2023, administrators at Texas A&M University were recorded in a meeting discussing covert tactics to keep DEI policies and diversity statements alive. These included asking potential hires to reflect on diversity efforts in their teaching and research statements, rather than requiring a de jure diversity statement. UT Austin’s expulsion of DEI officials follows a similar action taken by the University of Florida, which sent all of its DEI employees packing on March 1.

With this decision, UT Austin has helped the anti-DEI movement take a significant step in wiping left-wing ideology from America’s institutions of higher education.