DEI's demise is dragging out

DEI's demise is dragging out

DEI's demise is dragging out

Some professors at a Texas university are demanding the school reinstate dozens of laid off employees to their DEI positions that a pro-family advocate says are expensive and useless.

The University of Texas (UT) at Austin has laid off the employees in compliance with Senate Bill 17, which Governor Greg Abbott (R) signed into law in June of 2023, banning diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) offices at public colleges and universities.

"It appears that the University of Texas, which at first may have just been reorganizing different individuals in that office, is actually making sure that they're not having these type of offices or roles in their university," notes Mary Elizabeth Castle, director of government relations for Texas Values.

Castle, Mary Elizabeth (Texas Values) Castle

According to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Association of American University Professors, about 60 workers were laid off, though UT Austin President Jay Hartzell has said they would have the opportunity to keep working for the university in different positions.

Still, a group representing University of Texas professors has published an open letter to President Hartzell claiming the layoffs violated the employees' rights.

The UT chapter of the American Association of University Professors says these layoffs were discriminatory, that they infringe on the employees' freedom of expression, and that they violate due process. They are demanding the college give those individuals back their jobs immediately.

Castle, however, says having fewer people in these college departments could help more people at the end of the day.

"A lot of people don't realize how much bureaucratic bloat there is in higher education," she notes. "A lot of these offices, especially when it comes to DEI departments – these aren't people who necessarily teach or provide any kind of academic value to the university, but just provide some kind of overhead or bureaucratic-type role, and that in itself is actually leading to the increased cost of college."

According to the American-Statesman, 40 of the 60 UT Austin staff were let go from the Division of Campus and Community Engagement, where the median annual salary is approximately $69,000.

That is more than $2.7 million a year in salaries for just 40 employees – money that USA Today suggests could have funded need-based in-state tuition for four years for nearly 60 black or Hispanic women – because poverty tends to disproportionately affect those demographics. 

Blatant racism

In Massachusetts, DEI offices at Harvard University are planning segregated student graduations again this year, this time adding one specifically for Jewish students.

Nick Giordano, a professor of political science at Suffolk Community College and a higher education fellow for Campus Reform, says the bottom line is segregation is bad.

Giordano , Nicholas Giordano

"I think segregated graduations speak to the worst our society has to offer," he submits. "It's blatant racism," and it goes against America's motto: E Pluribus Unum, "out of many comes one."

He laments that the nation has moved beyond the content of character, and people are instead defining themselves based on the color of skin, ethnicity, or religion.

"We continue to divide ourselves as a society, and my theory is that we're moving towards a tribal society, given the DEI framework that's been put out there," the professor offers. "Tribal societies never work."

Meanwhile, he has noticed that as people become more aware of the harmful effects of DEI, they do not stand for it. Even professors have begun to press back against it, and he believes the "monster is dying out."

"The tide is turning," he observes.

Instead of devoting time to DEI and planning separate "celebrations" for blacks, lavenders, veterans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Desi-Americans, and "First-Generation-Low Income" graduates, Giordano thinks Harvard should be more concerned about plagiarism from its top officials.