Another Texas university system bans DEI in hiring
The University of Houston System chancellor announced the decision to ban DEI statements from hiring in a university-wide email on Mar. 3.
Chancellor Renu Khator says that the system will 'stand against any actions or activities which promote discrimination in the guise of [DEI].'
The University of Houston System (UHS) is the latest in Texas to ban diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statements in faculty hiring.
The system chancellor announced the decision in a university-wide email on Mar. 3, according to The Houston Chronicle. UHS follows similar decisions from the Texas A&M University and University of Texas systems after a memo from Gov. Greg Abbott’s office told universities to use merit, not DEI, in hiring.
A statement from UHS Chancellor Renu Khator says that the system will “ensure [its] policies are consistent with state and federal laws” and “stand against any actions or activities which promote discrimination in the guise of [DEI].”
“There have been reports regarding hiring practices at other state institutions where some committees may be asking for DEI statements for consideration in hiring and promotion decisions or otherwise using DEI as a factor in those decisions,” Khator continues.
“In order to ensure compliance with state and federal law, we will not support or use DEI statements or factors in hiring or promotion anywhere in the University of Houston System.”
In the memo from Gov. Abbott’s office, chief of staff Gardner Pate asks universities to review their hiring practices. He argues that DEI practices are discriminatory in that they “expressly favor some demographic groups to the detriment of others,” according to The Texas Tribune, which obtained a copy of the memo.
An investigation from the National Association of Scholars’ (NAS) John Sailer found that Texas Tech University (TTU) in Lubbock used DEI statements to engage in viewpoint discrimination. Applicants to its biology department received negative evaluations from the hiring committee for expressing a commitment to “treating all students equally.”
TTU has since removed DEI statements.
The Texas legislature may go the way of Florida and take a broader aim at DEI policies and practices. The Washington Examiner reported that “Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick … singled out banning DEI as a top legislative priority for the Texas legislative session.”
In his top 30 legislative priorities, Patrick includes a State Senate bill titled “Banning Discriminatory [DEI] Policies in Higher Education.”
“I believe Texans support our priorities because they largely reflect the policies supported by the conservative majority of Texans,” his announcement reads. “Most will pass with bipartisan support.”
Campus Reform contacted the University of Houston System and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick for comment and will update this article accordingly.