UT Austin eliminates around 60 staff positions after state DEI ban takes effect

​The University of Texas at Austin has eliminated around 60 staff positions to comply with the state's DEI ban.

The University of Texas at Austin has eliminated around 60 staff positions to comply with the state’s DEI ban.

According to KUT News, the 60 staffers were laid off on Tuesday to comply with Texas Senate Bill 17, which took effect Jan. 1 and bans public universities in the state from having DEI programs.

Previously, UT Austin closed its Multicultural Engagement Center as well as Monarch, which supported undocumented students and offered them scholarships.

Administrators at the school on Tuesday closed the  Division of Campus and Community Engagement, which came with layoffs for employees whose jobs were DEI-oriented.

[RELATED: Texas lawmaker says ignoring state DEI ban could cost colleges millions]

President Jay Hartzell wrote in a message to the UT Austin community that the law has changed the way that the university operates.

”The new law has changed the scope of some programs on campus, making them broader and creating duplication with long-standing existing programs supporting students, faculty, and staff,” said Hartzell.

The move was announced almost a week after Republican Texas Sen. Brandon Creighton sent a letter to university leaders in the state reminding them of the ban and the oversight process, as Campus Reform previously reported.

Creighton wrote in the letter that the DEI ban has a goal of “ensuring a merit-based environment where every student, faculty and staff member can strive for and achieve personal excellence.”

[RELATED: Texas eliminates DEI at public colleges and universities]

According to the report, hidden camera video of public university employees in Texas was released, stating that they’re finding “creative ways” to implement DEI initiatives in the wake of the ban.