EducationIssuesTexas A&M System Ends DEI Practices in Hiring and Admissions

In response to moves from other Texas universities and statements from the governor, Texas A&M ended its use of DEI in admissions and hiring.
March 3, 2023
The Texas A&M University System has moved to remove all Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) statements from their employment and admissions practices, it said in a statement on its website.

Chancellor John Sharp stated that after receiving a letter in February from Gov. Greg Abbott’s office, he ordered a review of all DEI policies in the university system.

“No university or agency in the A&M System will admit any student, nor hire any employee based on any factor other than merit,” said Sharp.

A directive was sent to all university system agencies to limit employment and admissions to a cover letter, curriculum vitae, statements about research and teaching philosophies, and professional references.

A memo obtained from Abbott’s office asserted that DEI policy “has been manipulated to push policies that expressly favor some demographic groups to the detriment of others.”

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The University of Texas (UT) System board chairman Kevin Eltife announced a pause on all DEI efforts during a board of regents meeting last week.  The move was prompted by his comments about how “certain DEI efforts have strayed from the original intent.”

Texas Tech University has released its own statement on steps it is taking to end DEI hiring, affirming its desire to “always emphasize disciplinary excellence” — despite its previous accusations of promoting “dimensions of diversity” in its rubric for hiring new faculty members.

UT Austin was reported to “espouse a clear ideological agenda” in its operation of DEI initiatives, as well as many Texas medical schools that have infused DEI policies into multiple levels of their admissions, curricula, and hiring.

Many Texas DEI departments, including those at Texas A&M and Texas Tech, operate using a bias reporting system that encourages students to report “bias incidents.”

A “bias incident” has broad definitions; it can encompass a variety of terms and expressions.

Last year, UT Austin had to dissolve its Campus Climate Reporting Team after a settlement with Speech First, a national free speech group. Gov. Greg Abbott praised the move as an end to “political correctness.”

The reports are facilitated through a system, Maxient, which provides universities with a centralized system to aggregate and report the “bias incidents” to their DEI departments.

“We usually help schools implement the software to their intended uses when we begin working with them, so over the years we’ve certainly had some (indication) they’ll be using it for ‘bias incidents,’” a senior client support specialist at Maxient told The College Fix.

“Determining how long to keep records — and when and whether to delete them — belongs to the client schools… the control over when to remove records rests entirely with the college or university and its users in the system. Their authorized staff can delete records on their own without ever consulting or notifying our staff,” the support specialist continued. 

A centralized “bias reporting” system under the supervision of university DEI departments has come under scrutiny in Texas, and multiple bills have been filed to eliminate it.

State Rep. Carl Tepper (R-Lubbock) filed three bills — House Bill (HB) 1006, HB 1033, and HB 1046 — in an effort to eliminate DEI policies on college campuses.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick made the elimination of “critical race theory” (CRT) from institutions of higher education a top priority for the Senate this legislative session.

Patrick at a recent event reiterated his support to end DEI and CRT and made clear that he will not rest until these bills are passed.

“I don’t care how many special sessions it takes.. we have time, I don’t have any plans this summer.”


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Cameron Abrams

Cameron Abrams is a reporter for The Texan. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Tabor College and a Master’s Degree from University of the Pacific, Cameron is finishing his doctoral studies where his research focuses on the postmodern philosophical influences in education. In his free time, you will find him listening to a podcast while training for an endurance running event.