UT Dallas Lays Off 20 Employees to Comply with Texas’ Ban on DEI Offices

The University of Texas at Dallas announces layoffs for 20 employees to adhere to the state’s prohibition on diversity, equity, and inclusion offices.

In response to Texas’ ban on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) offices at college campuses, the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) has initiated layoffs affecting 20 employees, effective at the end of the month.

UTD President Richard Benson acknowledged the challenging nature of the decision, recognizing that it may not be welcomed by many in the community. However, he encouraged hiring managers to consider impacted DEI employees for vacant positions.

This move follows a similar action taken by UT Austin, where approximately 60 employees were laid off to comply with the new state law. Enacted last year, the law prohibits universities from influencing hiring practices based on diversity considerations.

Governor Greg Abbott and other Republican lawmakers have criticized DEI programs, accusing them of promoting liberal politics and prioritizing race over merit. UT Austin President Jay Hartzell announced the disbandment of the Division of Campus and Community Engagement, which provided resources for communities facing challenges in accessing higher education.

The layoffs have sparked concerns among student organizations, with some expressing that the university feels less welcoming as a result. Ophelia Brown, a senior at UT, emphasized the impact on minority communities, stating that the layoffs affect everyone as a whole.

A group of professors has called for the university to reconsider its decision on the job cuts, while Hartzell assured that laid-off workers would have the opportunity to apply for other positions within the university.

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