Texas A&M system bans DEI statements
Following a directive from Gov. Greg Abbott's office, the Texas A&M University System announced on Mar. 2 that it will ban diversity statements from admissions and hiring.
In a shift to a more merit-based system, job applications will only include 'a cover letter, curriculum vitae, statements about research and teaching philosophies, and professional references.'
Amidst the nationwide chorus to eliminate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in education, the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) announced on Mar. 2 that it will ban diversity statements from admissions and hiring.
The announcement from TAMUS Chancellor John Sharp follows a Feb. 6 directive from Gov. Greg Abbott. A memo from Abbott’s chief of staff, obtained by The Texas Tribune, told the state’s public colleges and universities to use merit, not DEI, in its considerations.
“We believe serving Texas can be accomplished best by recruiting the brightest and most qualified students, faculty and staff,” Sharp states in the TAMUS announcement.
Sharp also states, “No university or agency in the A&M System will admit any student, nor hire any employee based on any factor other than merit.”
TAMUS reviewed its admissions and hiring procedures in response to Abbott’s directive. Job applications, according to the announcement, should only include “a cover letter, curriculum vitae, statements about research and teaching philosophies, and professional references.”
The Texas Tribune reported that the memo from Abbott’s office accused DEI initiatives of “push[ing] policies that expressly favor some demographic groups to the detriment of others.”
“Rebranding this employment discrimination as ‘DEI’ doesn’t make the practice any less illegal,” the memo continued.
The announcement from TAMUS, composed of 11 universities and eight state agencies, follows the University of Texas (UT) System’s decision to pause DEI initiatives at its 13 campuses while reviewing its admissions and hiring.
Texas Tech University (TTU) similarly updated its policies after an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal by John Sailer shared documents revealing that its biology department “penalize[s] candidates for heterodox opinions.”
In what appears to be a response to Sailer taking the documents public, Campus Reform reported that TTU eliminated diversity statements from hiring.
Efforts to eliminate DEI from academic and professional life have spread like wildfire. Legislation introduced in Tennessee would ban DEI requirements from the education, training, and employment of professionals providing services in health care, mental health, and social work.
Oklahoma’s superintendent of public instruction issued a DeSantis-style probe into DEI spending at the state’s public colleges and universities. After DeSantis appointed six new members to the New College of Florida’s board of trustees, the board voted to shut down its DEI office.
Trustee Christopher Rufo said that the move made the New College “the first university in America to abolish its DEI bureaucracy and restore the principle of colorblind equality.”
Campus Reform contacted all relevant parties listed for comment and will update this article accordingly.