Statement from NADOHE President Paulette Granberry Russell on Texas Senate Bill 17

June 14, 2023

This is a sad occasion for all students at Texas’ public universities. By dismantling diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and offices at these institutions, Texas lawmakers have chosen to prioritize a political agenda instead of the success of these students.

Public universities have a responsibility to extend educational opportunities for all, to promote critical thinking, and to advance intellectual excellence. This law abandons that responsibility. It grossly diminishes the broad impact that diversity, equity, and inclusion programs have for all individuals, as well as how our work fosters not only equality of opportunity, but equitable outcomes based on gender and gender identity, race, national origin, ethnicity, veteran status, differing abilities and other ways in which students identify. The law blatantly ignores a critical fact: The work of diversity officers and programs is core to academic excellence, and to providing leadership for a diverse society and workforce. Contrary to the misrepresentations of supporters of this legislation, quality is not diminished by such efforts and programs. The quality of the experience for all students is actually enhanced by such efforts. 

Even if diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and offices are dismantled, our nation is diverse and diversifying, and diversity on Texas campuses will not disappear. The need to support the success of all students impacted by their experiences in and outside the classroom will not disappear. While Texas’ lawmakers prefer to turn their backs on these necessary initiatives, NADOHE will not. Our work builds on generations of efforts to make higher education more accessible and inclusive, and we will steadfastly support our members as they champion progress, even in the most challenging of times. 


The National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) is the preeminent voice for chief diversity officers. As the leader of the national conversation on diversity, equity, and inclusion, it investigates, influences, and innovates to transform higher education so that inclusive excellence lives at its core.