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University of North Texas system will pause new diversity policies, review hiring process

The move comes a month after Gov. Abbott's office sent a memo to public universities that stated diversity, equity and inclusion hiring practices are illegal.

DENTON, Texas — The University of North Texas system has paused any new diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies as it reviews its hiring practices, the chancellor said.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Chancellor Michael R. Williams said he has "requested a review of our current hiring policies to ensure an appropriate and consistent approach is being taken across our entire system."

"The UNT system will continue to prioritize our people - embracing all backgrounds through an equitable and inclusive approach - while ensuring all policies and programs align with our core values, purpose, and mission," William said in his statement.

The move comes a month after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's office sent a memo to state agencies and public universities, warning them that DEI practices can be illegally discriminative and "expressly favor some demographic groups to the detriment of others."

"Indeed, rather than increasing diversity in the workplace, these DEI initiatives are having the opposite effect and are being advanced in ways that proactively encourage discrimination in the workplace," stated the memo, which was obtained by KHOU 11 and the Texas Tribune.

The UNT system joins the University of Texas and Texas A&M University systems that have changed their DEI policies since the governor's memo was sent out.

On Feb. 22, the UT system paused its DEI practices and a week later, the Texas A&M system was directed by its chancellor to remove DEI statements from employment and admission practices.

"No university or agency in the A&M System will admit any student, nor hire any employee based on any factor other than merit," Chancellor John Sharp said in a statement.

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