Texas Tech Crumbles After DEI Hiring Is Exposed

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Texas Tech Crumbles After DEI Hiring Is Exposed; Governor Issues an Order to End Bizarre Practices

Texas Tech University’s DEI Hiring Practices

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 10, 2023) – The formal written hiring polices of Texas Tech University [TTU] – at least in its biology department – of requiring professors to pledge fealty to DEI ideology, to both understand and express new “woke” terminology and concepts, and to even penalize a professorial candidate for suggesting that teaching should be race neutral, has been scuttled after egregious examples were just widely publicized.

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Interestingly, at about the same time a study reported the existence of DEI policies at several major medical schools in the Lone Star State. As just one example, one medical school training program teaches that saying "I believe the most qualified person should get the job" is not only incorrect and improper, but is even an example of a prohibited "microaggression."

When glaring examples of putting DEI [Diversity, Equity, Inclusion] goals ahead of academic and professional merit were just publicized, the Governor immediately banned such practices by any government agency - including the State's educational institutions - reports public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

In response to the public exposure of DEI hiring practices by TTU, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has just ordered state agencies - including state universities - to stop considering diversity in hiring. In a formal legal memo written Monday, Abbott's chief of staff Gardner Pate told agency leaders that using DEI policies in hiring violates federal and state employment laws.

The law professor says that what just happened is a good example of Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis' observation that “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.”

And after the embarrassment which resulted when its hiring polices were exposed - in the Wall Street Journal and by Banzhaf - TTU beat a hurried retreat by issuing the following statement:

“Recently, we learned of a department that required a diversity, equity, and inclusion statement in addition to the usual applicant materials as part of a faculty search. We immediately withdrew this practice and initiated a review of hiring procedures across all colleges and departments. We will withdraw the use of these statements and evaluation rubrics if identified.”

How The Policy Worked

Here are some examples of how the use of this DEI policy worked at TTU in practice:

  • TTU's biology department not only required candidates for a teaching position to submit a "diversity statement" pledging to conform with various dictates of DEI, but it also says it will "strongly" weigh the precise wording of such pledges before hiring anyone, regardless of professional credentials or abilities.
  • The new policy also requires prospective professors to be fully aware of the various nuances of constantly evolving "woke" terminology; for example, one was flagged for not being able to clearly explain the difference between "equality" and "equity."
 

  • Another candidate was penalized when he had the audacity to suggest that teaching should be race-neutral by saying "that DEI is not an issue [for him] because he respects his students and treats them equally.” This, the search committee opined, indicates a "lack of understanding of equity and inclusion issues”; thereby presumably concluding that even suggesting that students should be treated equally without regard to their race is for some reason no longer acceptable. 
  • An immunology candidate boosted her chances of being hired by demonstrating familiarity with terms and concepts such as “unconscious bias.”
  • A virologist helped improve her candidacy by taking a pledge to improve "diversity" by enforcing a code of conduct, preventing microaggressions, etc. 
  • Still another candidate also improved her hiring prospects by discussing "land acknowledgment" with the hiring committee.

Although it appears that many universities incorporate DEI mandates into their hiring practices - although most not as blatantly and explicitly at TTU - even those in academe are beginning to recognize that it is highly inappropriate, contrary to academic ideals, and possibly illegal.

As the Chronicle of Higher Education just reported in an article entitled "Yes, DEI Can Erode Academic Freedom. Let’s Not Pretend Otherwise," DEI consists of "trafficking in PR-driven wishful thinking" which combines elements of "management-consultant buzzwords, social justice slogans, and 'therapy speak,'" and is inconsistent with academic freedom and free speech.