Texas Governor Warns of Illegal Hiring Practices Based on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Gov. Greg Abbott’s office has issued a warning to Texas state agencies and public universities, telling them that the use of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in hiring is illegal.[0] The memo, issued by Abbott's chief of staff Gardner Pate, states that hiring decisions must be based on merit and that any other criteria would be a violation of federal and state employment laws.

The warning comes as Republicans nationwide are pushing back against D-E-I and critical race theory, arguing that these initiatives can lead to discrimination against white people in schools and workplaces.[1]

John D. Sailer of the National Association of Scholars wrote on Monday: “More and more universities across America now require would-be professors to submit so-called diversity statements. These ask applicants to set out their commitment to, and experience of, promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. At the same time some Republican-led states, most notably Florida, are putting their own restrictions on academia. How healthy is academic freedom in America?”

The Academic Freedom Alliance has also released a statement on the threats to academic freedom posed by colleges’ and universities’ requiring “diversity statements” in faculty hiring and promotion. It is clear that these policies are having a major impact on the academic landscape in America, and that the implications of these issues must be carefully considered.

0. “Abbott's Office Directs Agencies, Universities Not To Consider DEI In Hiring – 710am KURV” kurv, 8 Feb. 2023, https://www.kurv.com/abbotts-office-directs-agencies-universities-not-to-consider-dei-in-hiring/

1. “Abbott Directs Agencies, Universities Not To Consider DEI In Hiring” iHeart, 8 Feb. 2023, https://woai.iheart.com/featured/san-antonios-first-news/content/2023-02-08-abbott-directs-agencies-universities-not-to-consider-dei-in-hiring/