The University of South Carolina has removed the terms “diversity, equity, and inclusion” from the title of its head diversity official, according to a campus email sent Monday.
Julian R. Williams, formerly vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion, now serves as vice president for access, civil rights, and community engagement.
“His division will now align ongoing efforts to ensure access and opportunity to members of the campus community, compliance with federal civil rights and Title IX requirements, and foster partnerships with public and private sector entities to share university knowledge in support of local communities,” the email obtained by The Post and Courier read.
The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will now be known as the Division of Access, Civil Rights, and Community Engagement.
The new title change reflects growing conservative opposition to DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) efforts on national and state levels. In Florida and Texas, where recent bills targeting diversity in higher education have passed, universities are renaming or eliminating DEI roles. In the last South Carolina legislative session, Republican lawmakers attempted to eliminate state funding for DEI-related efforts without success.