AUSTIN (KXAN) — In line with other Texas universities, the Texas State University System chancellor said Thursday that campuses must remove diversity statements from their hiring process, among other changes, effective immediately.
A letter from chancellor Brian McCall to institution presidents said the change is in response to a letter from the governor’s office “to ensure our universities, colleges, and institutions’ full compliance with applicable federal and state anti-discrimination laws.”
The emailed letter, sent Thursday, included four immediate changes:
- Review all job postings and confirm strict adherence to anti-discrimination statutes. All language in violation of these statutes must [be] removed.
- Eliminate the requirement for a diversity statement regarding DEI. Such a statement should no longer be required as part of the campus’ hiring practice. To the extent diversity statements have been submitted for current job postings, the statements should not be considered by the hiring committee or administrator.
- Review public-facing and internal webpages regarding job openings to ensure language does not run afoul of anti-discrimination mandates.
- Review hiring policies and, where appropriate, modify such policies to incorporate the above actions.
The university system’s institutions are Texas State University, Lamar University, Sam Houston State University, Sul Ross State University, Lamar Institute of Technology, Lamar State College – Orange and Lamar State College – Port Arthur.
Texas State University has two local campuses in San Marcos and Round Rock. The Round Rock campus’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility website included a statement as of Saturday afternoon that reads in part “Texas State University RRC is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility. We want all members of the campus community to feel welcome so that through a diversity of people and ideas, all voices are heard.”
In February, Abbott’s chief of staff told state agencies and public universities last month to stop the use of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, as reported by the Texas Tribune. The memo said DEI policies violated federal and state employment laws, and hiring cannot be based on factors “other than merit.”
The University of Texas System and Texas A&M University System have made similar moves to the TSUS in recent weeks.
UT System Chairman Kevin Eltife called for the pause of new diversity, equity and inclusion policies. He said they strive for diversity on campus among students and faculty but that, “certain DEI efforts have strayed from the original intent to now imposing requirements and actions that, rightfully so, has raised the concerns of our policymakers about those efforts on campuses across our entire state.”