Lamar University Explains DEI Job Description

Lamar University | Image by Lamar University

Lamar University in Beaumont has explained its potential violation of a state ban on diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in higher education.

The public university was contacted by The Dallas Express as part of an investigation into multiple potential violations of the state law forbidding DEI at several higher education institutions in the Lone Star State.

Under a “what you’ll do” section for the Assistant Director for Residence Life job listing at the university, the job description informed applicants that prior employees trained students and staff in DEI.

DX contacted officials at Lamar University, asking if the language was meant to indicate that future assistant directors would be conducting DEI training as part of their job duties.

After a significant delay, which a spokesperson attributed to the Spring Break holiday, the university clarified:

In accordance with SB 17, Lamar University does not conduct Diversity/Equity/Inclusion training. The information posted in the job description was outdated and incorrect and has since been updated.”

SB 17, the law that bans DEI at Texas colleges and universities, took effect on January 1, 2024.

The law “prohibits public institutions of higher education from establishing or maintaining DEI offices, officers, employees, or contractors that perform the duties of a DEI office.” The law also prohibits “requiring related training,” per a bill analysis committee report.

Lamar University was one of several higher education institutions to scrap or amend job descriptions over concerns about DEI requirements in recent days.

DX has repeatedly reached out to Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office for comment regarding the possible violations of law but has yet to receive a response.

The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M deleted several job descriptions without issuing a statement after a DX investigation identified numerous possible violations of SB 17.

Likewise, Dallas College, one of DFW’s major junior colleges, recently chose to delete or amend a dozen job descriptions over concerns about the potential illegality of embedded DEI requirements.

Founded in 1983, Lamar enrolls around 17,000 students. The school is named for Mirabeau Lamar, the second president of the Republic of Texas. It is the only remaining institution from the former Lamar University System.

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