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Goldwater Frees Texas Higher Ed from Radical DEI’s Tentacles

June 16, 2023

Radical, racist political ideologies are crippling higher education, but the Goldwater Institute is showing the country how to rein in the “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) regime. This week Goldwater enacted a powerful reform in Texas that completely defunds the bloated apparatus of DEI administrators currently swarming the state’s public colleges and universities.

Every year, “woke” bureaucrats divert millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours away from academic enrichment and toward politicized, race- and gender-based DEI programming. That’s why the Goldwater and Manhattan Institutes released a landmark reform earlier this year, “Abolish DEI Bureaucracies and Restore Colorblind Equality in Public Universities,” that fully eliminates all DEI offices in public higher education. Goldwater’s massive victory over radical DEI in Texas—the nation’s second-most-populous state—now sets the stage for additional wins across the country.

And the new Texas law, which Gov. Greg Abbott signed this week, comes just weeks after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis likewise signed Goldwater’s reform banishing “diversity statements” and other discriminatory techniques used by the left to enforce ideological conformity on campus under the guise of DEI.

The Texas bill makes crystal clear that no public institution of higher education may “establish or maintain” any office that seeks to “promot[e] the differential treatment of…individuals on the basis of race, color, or ethnicity”; “influenc[e] hiring or employment practices with respect to race, color, or ethnicity, other than through the use of color-blind and sex-neutral hiring”; or “conduc[t] trainings, programs, or activities, designed or implemented in reference to race, color, ethnicity, gender identity, or sexual orientation” beyond programs legally required by state or federal law. In other words, Goldwater is completely shutting down the entire campus apparatus dedicated to fomenting race- or gender-based radicalism.

This strikes a double blow on behalf of taxpayers—not only rolling back the Administrative State in general, but also removing the epicenter of so much leftwing lunacy undermining intellectual diversity on college campuses. After all, DEI administrations within public universities are often responsible for the worst excesses of campus illiberalism. (The DEI administrator at Stanford Law school helping shout down a federal judge who was invited to speak comes to mind as a recent example). What’s more, they make tuition more expensive by contributing to the well-documented problem of administrative bloat. That’s why Goldwater is working to dismantle DEI bureaucracies in favor of a higher education system that reflects the values of the people it serves and shapes students into responsible and thoughtful citizens.

The Goldwater Institute commends Gov. Abbot for signing Texas’ new reform into law, as the bill represents an extraordinary victory in the battle to restore public higher education to its original purpose. And the law complements a suite of related Goldwater efforts, including the Institute’s “Freedom from Indoctrination Act,” which ensures students learn useful civic knowledge in their general education courses and keeps them from being forced into activist-driven programs of social conditioning.

Just as school choice at the K-12 level has swept the nation in the wake of Goldwater passing universal education savings account legislation in Arizona last year, Texas’ bold action against DEI in higher education sets a new standard that lawmakers across the country can and should emulate.

DEI rode swiftly to power over our institutions in recent years. But thanks to Goldwater’s work, so too is it now poised for an equally rapid downfall.



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