Diversity & Equality

131 college scholarships put on hold or modified due to Texas DEI ban, documents show

Memorial scholarships are among those affected as Texas universities strive to comply with a new law banning diversity, equity and inclusion programs

NBC 5 News

For Richard Oliver, the night of June 3, 2014, was a parent’s worst nightmare.

His daughter Devin Oliver and her classmate Aubree Butts, players on the women’s basketball team at Texas A&M University at Commerce, were killed in a car crash in rural Paris, Texas. The community mourned and celebrated Oliver and Butts by creating a memorial scholarship.

“I appreciated the fact that that scholarship was targeted specifically for that demographic type — Black female athlete, and particularly basketball — because that’s who my daughter was,” Richard Oliver told The Dallas Morning News.

Now the Devin Oliver and Aubree Butts Memorial Scholarship — and 130 others across Texas — are frozen or being modified as the state’s public universities implement a new state law, according to documents obtained by The News through open records requests. The affected scholarships comprise 80 at Texas A&M University institutions, 45 at University of Texas-affiliated campuses and six at three other public universities.

Known as Senate Bill 17 and authored by state Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, the law is a ban on diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI, programs at public universities in Texas and went into effect Jan. 1.

Click here to read more on this report from our partners at The Dallas Morning News.

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