Texas legislature approves DEI, tenure bills
According to an email sent by the University Friday morning, two controversial bills that are expected to significantly impact diversity and hiring in higher education were passed by the Texas House of Representatives.
The email, sent by Jason S. Smith, vice president of governmental relations at UH, said that SB 17 now prohibits the promotion of preferential hiring practices, treatment, training or programs on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. In addition, the bill instructs universities to make a “reasonable effort” to reassign employees currently working in diversity-related positions.
SB 18 still allows tenure to be awarded to faculty and reviewed or revoked, but the House changed the definition of tenure property interest to include privileges related to tenure.
“The bills are not yet finalized,” Smith’s email read. “The Senate can either agree to changes to the bills or try to amend the bills.”
The House and Senate have until this Sunday to make any further changes.