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The University of Texas at Austin is abruptly dismissing nearly two dozen staff members in the communications and marketing department after a tumultuous year of crisis communications, KUT News reported.

According to four people “with firsthand knowledge of the changes” who were granted anonymity by KUT, about 20 people were laid off. Their last day is Aug. 31.

The news broke just days after UT Austin administrators publicly announced they would be requiring almost all remaining staff to return to campus and work full time in-person. However, sources told KUT that two weeks ago a university vice president had informed the employees who would lose their jobs, explaining it was a necessary step to help the university focus on “managing reputational issues and crises.” Emily Reagan, chief marketing and communications officer, then sent an email to all department staff on June 3 which cited “crises” as the reason for the layoffs but did not specify what they were.

Mike Rosen, a university spokesperson, declined to comment beyond saying the department would experience a “restructure” and that some positions were being eliminated in the process. He would not confirm the number of employees impacted.

The announcement comes just months after UT Austin laid off dozens of diversity, equity and inclusion employees to meet the requirements of a new state law, and brought in local police to arrest more than 100 pro-Palestinian protesters on campus. One of the individuals arrested was a lecturer who was then fired.

It’s not yet clear if administrators will fill the vacancies and if so, who will fill the gaps or how the department will function in the meantime.