AUSTIN, Texas (NEWSnet/AP) — Texas universities eliminated or changed hundreds of jobs in recent months in response to one of the nation’s most sweeping bans on diversity programs on college campuses, school officials told lawmakers Tuesday.

The head of the University of Texas system announced that its nine academic and five health campuses alone had cut 300 full- and part-time positions. Those campuses combined also did away with more than 600 programs related to diversity, equity and inclusion training.

“You may not like the law, but it is the law,” University of Texas Systems Chancellor James Milliken said.

Milliken was one of several chancellors who GOP state senators called to the Texas Capitol to testify on how campuses are complying with the law signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott last year.

Texas is among about one-third of states across the nation that have taken steps to limit or prohibit DEI initiatives and practices.

Last month, the flagship University of Texas campus in Austin announced the closure of the school’s Division of Campus and Community Engagement and the elimination of jobs in order to comply with the ban.

Earlier this year, the University of Florida announced more than a dozen terminations in response to a similar state ban.

On Monday, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Trustees approved diverting $2.3 million of state funds for advancing diversity to instead serve public safety and policing. The move comes as North Carolina’s public university system will consider changing its diversity policy before the legislature steps in.

In Oklahoma, the head of the University of Oklahoma’s Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center announced earlier this month that he was forced to terminate its National Education for Women Leadership program because of an anti-DEI executive order signed by Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt last year. The program trained more than 650 women from dozens of colleges and universities across the country over the past 20 years.

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