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A committee of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors passed a measure at a public meeting Wednesday to repeal the system’s diversity and inclusion policy and replace it with a new “equality within the university” policy.

The motion by the university governance committee was advanced to the full board unanimously and without discussion, just before the committee entered a closed session and the public was ushered out of the room. The complete 24-member board will vote on it in May; if it passes, chancellors will have until September to bring their campuses into compliance.

Though the final details of the measure are still being hammered out, it would likely lead to the defunding of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and the elimination of DEI offices across UNC’s 16-campus system. It is unclear if the new policy would require layoffs of DEI staff across the system, or if those personnel would be reassigned.

Texas and Florida have already eliminated DEI by congressional mandate. In Texas, SB 17, which prohibits DEI programs at public institutions, went into effect Jan. 1; at first, many universities simply renamed and reorganized their DEI offices but, in the past month, the Universities of Texas at Austin and Dallas have shuttered their new offices and gutted staff, laying off over 80 employees altogether.

Republican state lawmakers in North Carolina have considered proposing similar legislation this session, but House speaker Tim Moore told Raleigh’s The News & Observer that they were open to deferring to system leadership as long as they took action on the issue.

Wade Maki, chair of the system’s faculty senate, who was present at the committee meeting, said that the fact that the board is handling the transition bodes well for UNC, especially in light of the chaotic cuts at public universities operating under legislative mandate in other states.

“We all value diversity and student success, and we all value controlling our own future … just laying a bunch of people off is not helpful for anybody,” Maki told Inside Higher Ed. “This will help us ensure that we can keep what is important for our diverse students’ success while also addressing the concerns of our legislators and stakeholders.”