Since the passage of SB 17, UNT is the first Texas university to publicly announce the closure of their DEI offices.
In the wake of the Texas Legislature passing a ban on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) offices and pressure from elected state officials, many universities have had to grapple with shuttering the doors of their social justice-focused departments. One university in Denton has already announced its plans to “dissolve” and reorganize a multitude of departments.
The University of North Texas (UNT), located in Denton, serves a population of over 42,000 students.
Recently, UNT President Neal Smatresk announced the school’s response to Senate Bill (SB) 17 to the public.
The posted statement includes the plans for the Vice President for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access to retire from their position; the office be “dissolved” as well as other “units” within that office to be “transferred” to other departments.
“Senior administrators and I are doing our best to create a plan that ensures we will continue to support all our community members’ needs and take advantage of the talented staff members currently within the division by working to reassign them throughout the university in ways that improve our academic community,” Smatresk wrote.