Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

UTSA works on SB 17 internal review process

University releases website with plans and timeline
Chloe Williams

Senate Bill 17 (SB 17) was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in June, requiring colleges and universities in Texas to close their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) offices by Jan. 1, 2024. UTSA is currently in the process of reviewing current DEI-related operations and has been working with UT System since May to finalize its strategy.

Originating in the 88th Texas Legislative session, SB 17 amended Texas Education Code 51.3525 to prohibit DEI offices, duties, training and statements in higher education institutions. Any kind of preference based on sex, race, ethnicity or national origin is prohibited. 

UT System released working guidance regarding SB 17 on Sept. 15, detailing the specific restrictions, requirements and exceptions included in the law. According to the document, SB 17 “specifically states that the bill’s restrictions do not apply to academic course instruction.” 

The prohibitions also do not apply to data collection, scholarly research or creative work, short-term guest speakers and performers, recruitment and admissions processes and all functions of student organizations. Specific definitions for each exception as well as guidelines regarding hiring and training processes can be found at

After receiving this guidance in August, UTSA committed to “develop[ing] an engagement strategy to review programs, activities and initiatives that may be impacted” that is “broad and transparent.” In the statement, which was shared with all faculty, staff and students via email on Aug. 28, UTSA stated that “[they] are committed to adhering to [their] core values and supporting academic freedom while creating a strategy that aligns with UT System guidelines.”

In another email sent out in September, UTSA stated that they have “begun a process to collect, screen and review current operations” and provided a website where the university will share its ongoing plans and address frequently asked questions developed by UT System. 

The review process includes an Executive Leadership Review Committee, a Working Group of appointed campus-wide stakeholders and a Program, Activity and Initiative Review (PAIR) team. 

The process also involves consultation with an SB 17 advisory group, featuring representatives from the faculty and staff senates as well as UTSA’s Student Government Association. President Eighmy will make all final determinations based on the recommendations provided in the review process.

The implementation timeline, which spans until SB 17 becomes law on Jan. 1, states that the “internal review process is intended to move swiftly to provide the Roadrunner community with timely guidance” and that “regular communication will be provided throughout the process.”

For more information and future updates regarding UTSA’s internal review process and timeline, visit Further questions and feedback can be directed to the PAIR team at [email protected].

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Jessica McLaren
Jessica McLaren, News Editor
Jessica McLaren is a senior digital communications student. She is from Austin, Texas, and she has been working with The Paisano for several years now — first as a staff writer and now as the News Editor. Though she has loved to write for virtually her entire life, Jess only recently discovered her passion for visual design through her studies at UTSA. She values open-mindedness and compassion and believes the media is a powerful tool that can be used to strengthen the forces of humanity if used mindfully. Once she graduates, Jess plans to use her expertise in writing, editing and design to help people better understand themselves and the world around them by creating compelling and engaging communication campaigns as a self-employed writer and designer. When she’s not writing an article or researching for one, you can usually find her reading a book about philosophy with a good cup of coffee.
Chloe Williams
Chloe Williams, Managing Editor
Chloe (she/her) is a senior majoring in Business Marketing with a minor in Adaptive Decision Business Models. On her off days you can find Chloe thrifting, being a self-proclaimed food critic or outside enjoying nature. This is her third year at The Paisano and she is excited to serve as Managing Editor.

Comments (0)

The Paisano intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Paisano does not allow anonymous comments, and The Paisano requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Paisano Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *