Austin, Texas–Wednesday, Senator Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) passed Senate Bill 17, a bill to end divisive Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) offices at Texas public colleges and universities.
“Texas is one of the most diverse states in the nation, and our institutions of higher education should reflect that diversity, said Senator Creighton. “However, the elevation of DEI offices, mandatory diversity statements, political litmus tests, and diversity training have the opposite effect and only further divides. DEI programs have become a million-dollar industry at taxpayer-funded institutions–yet they have made no progress advancing or increasing diversity.”
Senate Bill 17 will close DEI offices on the campuses of state-funded colleges and universities and put an end to all activities that discriminate against students based on their race, ethnicity, or gender. The bill also prohibits diversity statements for job applicants at Texas universities and mandatory DEI training for any purpose.
SB 17 affirms the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Title VII, Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause, and does not affect any student-led organizations.
“With this bold, forward-thinking legislation to eliminate DEI programs, Texas is leading the nation, and ensuring our campuses return to focusing on the strength of diversity, promoting a merit-based approach where individuals are judged based on their qualifications, skills, and contributions”
The Texas Senate also adopted a budget rider in H.B. 1 that prevents any state funding of DEI offices on public college campuses.