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Senator Royce West: District 23
News Release
March 2, 2023
Contact: Kelvin Bass
Texas A&M University undermines commitment to diversity with removal of DEI from admissions criteria

DALLAS – Texas State Senator Royce West expressed his disappointment in the recent announcement made by Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, regarding the removal of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) as a factor in the university's admissions process.

“Diversity has always been a crucially sensitive issue at Texas A&M University, and the decision by Chancellor Sharp to remove DEI as a factor in admissions will have an even more detrimental impact on the university's efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout its system. Chancellor Sharp did not reach out to any ethnic minority legislators before announcing this decision,” said Senator West.

Sharp has become the first chancellor in the State of Texas to say that DEI will no longer be a factor in the admissions process and has directed staff to review employment practices, including faculty and staff application requirements.

“The exclusion of input from minority legislators on this very sensitive issue sends a clear message that Texas A&M is willing to sacrifice the benefits of a diverse student body for the sake of political expediency,” said Senator West.

Chancellor Sharp's statement that ‘no university or agency in the A&M System will admit any student, nor hire any employee based on any factor other than merit’ raises concerns about the impact on athletes at Texas A&M. As stated by Sharp, Texas A&M University will now prioritize academic merit as the sole factor in admissions decisions and the university will no longer consider athletic ability as a factor.

“As it implements this policy, I’m calling on the A&M System to certify that each athlete who is recruited and given a scholarship to ensure that the scholarship is also based on academic merit,” Senator West said. “Further, ‘merit’ needs to be defined and A&M must now make sure each student admitted meets the definition. While DEI considerations have to go, do legacy admits get to stay?”

Should this policy remain in place, the removal of DEI as a factor in university admissions could result in Texas A&M failing to properly prepare its students for the realities of a country that is growing more diverse. Senator West urges Texas A&M University and Chancellor Sharp to reconsider their decision and work towards a more diverse and inclusive campus environment.

For media inquiries or further information, please contact Audrey Johnson at (214) 467-0123 or Audrey.Johnson@Senate.Texas.Gov. or Kelvin Bass at 512-463-0123.