[Fox News] Texas university takes heat for clearing DEI offices: ‘The cruelty is stunning’

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The University of Texas at Austin (UT) is taking heat for removing its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) offices.

Per CBS Austin, Irene Mulvey, president of the American Association of University Professors, blasted UT before a scheduled speaking conference to address the school’s move to cancel DEI on campus and lay off employees.

UT laid off dozens of employees who worked in their DEI programs to comply with a new state law, the university announced last week. The Austin American-Statesman reported that a person with knowledge of the situation said 60 positions that were related to DEI work were eliminated at UT-Austin. 

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The speaking conference will involve college educators and state civil rights activists, according to CBS.

“The problem is it’s really the cruelty is stunning because these are employees whose work it is to help students succeed,” Mulvey said. 

She went on to say, “And that’s who’s getting fired. So, my question for the people implementing Senator Creighton’s SB 17 is, ‘How does this help students?’ It just there’s just no way you can say this is going to help students.”

Mulvey explained further that DEI helps “veterans, students with disabilities, first generation students, and “all students of color.” 

“They help all sorts of students. That’s what these services do. And by firing the people who supply these services, the only result is it’s going to be harder. It’s going to be more difficult for the students these services were set up to help,” Mulvey said.

Furthermore, UT students spoke with Fox News Digital about the matter, torching their soon-to-be alma mater.

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One of the students blasted the school for complying with the “extremist Texan government” and called the layoffs of DEI employees “wrongful termination.”

“State efforts to undermine initiatives that seek to uplift and protect marginalized groups have no place on our campus,” Maddox Réal, class of 2026, told Fox News Digital.

Réal went on to say, “I have found myself extremely disappointed in UT Austin’s response to these authoritarian practices, and its commitment to be SB 17 compliant. As one of the most influential and powerful universities in this nation, one would expect a fight, a struggle, on behalf of so many vulnerable students.”

The law mandates that all governing boards of public colleges and universities ensure that their institutions prohibit the establishment and maintenance of a DEI office and the issue of “DEI Statements.” In addition, hiring practices and trainings are no longer able to use DEI statements.

The layoffs came after state Republican Sen. Brandon Creighton, outlined expectations of how universities will comply with the state law. He wrote a letter expressing the serious nature of the bill, saying that the measure “mandates a fundamental shift in the operation of our higher education institutions.” He added that universities are expected to facilitate a “merit-based environment.”

Creighton, like other critics of DEI programs at the university level, argued they were simply discrimination by another name in explaining his opposition; DEI supporters argue they address increasingly diverse student populations and are a form of correction against systemic inequities.

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Cultural graduations were another casualty of the effect of the law, prompting outrage from some students.

When the university’s Multicultural Engagement Center (MEC) was closed in compliance with the state’s law, Black Graduation, Latinx Graduation, and GraduAsian ceremonies were impacted as a result.

Erin McCormick, class of 26, previously told Fox News Digital that most of UT’s “large liberal student population” was “pretty irritated or pretty annoyed” by the cancelation of Black graduation.

“It’s kind of bummy that they closed it because I feel like Black graduation – it really celebrates the achievement. Just because given the history of Texas and UT alone, Latinos are not always welcome here, not wanted to graduate from here,” McCormick said.

She added, “So having Black graduation is kind of a celebration of the history and of everything that the Black community in Austin, especially UT Austin, has gone through. And then also, UT, while being diverse, is not very diverse in the Black student population. So, Black graduation is a way for all of us to kind of find our own little niche community.”

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