Kimberly Clarida in The Houston Chronicle: UT Austin DEI layoffs disproportionately affected women and Black staffers, records show

Senior Policy Analyst Kimberly Clarida was interviewed about the recent DEI-related layoffs at the University of Texas Austin, which disproportionately affected female and Black employees.
Read an excerpt below:
The dozens of employees laid off by the University of Texas at Austin this month when it closed a former diversity, equity and inclusion office were mostly women and people of color, some of whom had worked for decades at the school, according to newly released records.

In all, the university says it let go of 49 staffers as part of a restructuring to comply with a new state law banning DEI. They include the head of the university’s women’s center, the director of the Office of the Vice President for Campus and Community Engagement and the director of the Fearless Leadership Institute, a program that provides resources and networking to Black women on campus. 

Black staffers were disproportionately affected, making up nearly a third of the cuts while accounting for just 7% of the total university staff, excluding tenured faculty. Roughly three-fourths of the employees let go were women, though they make up just 55% of the total staff.

Other critics say the layoffs will have a “disproportionate, negative impact” on the future of recruiting diverse and talented academics and students. 

Kimberly Clarida, the higher education policy analyst for the left-leaning research group Every Texan, said the UT-Austin and UT-Dallas layoffs will weaken trust between universities and their employees.

“How can you trust an organization who says that they’re going to continue to do the good work, but when it’s time for them to stand behind that, they quickly fold and you lose your job?” she said.

Read the full article on The Houston Chronicle.

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