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Report Claims University of North Carolina Spent $90 Million on DEI Staffers

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Report Claims University of North Carolina Spent $90 Million on DEI Staffers

Report Claims University of North Carolina Spent $90 Million on DEI Staffers

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Recent research has raised questions about the value of diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) programs and initiatives in schools. This has prompted some universities, such as the University of North Carolina (UNC), to reconsider their approach. 

According to one report that looked into the use of DEI initiatives, UNC has been spending millions on the salaries of DEI staff and sponsoring other DEI-related activities. Many believe this wastes precious funds that could be better used elsewhere. The ongoing debate about the effectiveness, usefulness, and cost of these initiatives is a thought-provoking topic that has the attention of many.

DEI Initiatives Are No Longer Wanted

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For years, leaders of minority groups and famous activists called for better diversity, equality, and inclusion in schools and the workplace. After the killing of George Floyd, people started to listen, and more schools and companies started paying attention. 

However, not long after the integration of the DEI programs, it became evident that it was not a perfect solution. Since the beginning of 2023, institutions have been pivoting away from talks of integrating DEI initiatives, some at the risk of backlash. But then, a Supreme Court ruling ended affirmative action in college admissions, and in the weeks that followed, many institutions decided to abandon their DEI programs and initiatives. 

The University of Wyoming Had an Entire Overhaul of Its DEI Staffers

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After the Supreme Court stopped affirmative action in college admissions, the University of Wyoming eliminated everyone it hired for the DEI staff department. The decision was made unanimously by the Board of Trustees, who also decided that the money that would have previously been allocated to care for those staff would now go to other departments within the university. 

Where The University of North Carolina Stands Concerning DEI

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The UNC will not completely abandon DEI initiatives. A statement on its website outlined its DEI initiative and agreed that it helps the academic community feel much more respected and seen. It will continue to celebrate every member of the UNC community while uplifting DEI cultures and experiences. They seemed to imply that positivity would be extended to anybody who attends the institution rather than letting it be focused on minority groups. 

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How Much the University of North Carolina Spent on DEI-Related Stuff

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According to UNC, nearly $90 million has been spent to make their DEI staff happy. The money went to 686 staff members across 16 campuses but will soon end. The UNC Board of Governors had a meeting scheduled for late May 2024 to decide what to do with the DEI department. If they choose to eliminate it, every UNC campus will do the same.

About the University of North Carolina’s DEI Staff

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UNC’s DEI staff mainly includes those employed in a DEI-related role. Reports claim that people hired for such purposes number up to 288, and they were paid by the university just like any other staff. Three hundred ninety-eight also held a DEI-related role. They were not on the payroll but were members of committees, commissions, and councils. In addition, about 80 students were in volunteer DEI roles, and 66 employees were listed on the university’s websites as members of DEI committees but weren’t getting remunerations. In total, there were 30 DEI-focused groups across each campus, kept alive by various employees. 

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Some DEI Officials Get Six-Figure Remunerations

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The number of DEI staff on and off UNC’s payroll may seem shocking, but what is even more stunning is how much the University is paying them. According to a report, many of those earning a lot make six-figure salaries, with the highest paid being the chief diversity officer, who earns $412,799. Even staff who fall in the lower part of the salary spectrum were getting six-figure salaries, with the lowest paid being the HR/diversity professional, with an annual salary of $230,404. 

DEI Is Not Inclusion

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The DEI initiative gained support because it preached inclusion. However, CEO Adam Andrzejewski, the founder of Open the Books, the company that wrote the report on DEI spending, believes DEI is “the opposite of inclusion.” He has called it an “oppressor-oppressed model” that will only beget more anger, resentment, and division among people. He also thinks this is why such initiatives must come to an end. 

 

The University of Virginia DEI Spendings

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UNC has spent $90 million on DEI staff, but it is not the only institution that has pledged millions to the endeavor. The University of Virginia is not very far behind with the $20 million it has showered on its DEI staff. The university used to have up to 235 DEI staff members, and to keep them happy, it had to divert funds from the federal government, and student tuition fees.

Where UNC’s DEI funds Will go

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Rather than spending all that money on DEI-focused programs, UNC will identify places that need financial support. Some of those areas that people think will need the extra help include public safety and policing initiatives. 

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Chapel Hill Campus Plans To Dismantle DEI Programs

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Everybody wants to see what UNC’s Board of Governors decides regarding DEI initiatives, but the university’s Chapel Hill campus has already taken a stance. They will stop their DEI programs and channel the funds towards ensuring public safety by galvanizing campus police who promote the safety of their students.

Votes Needed To Get Rid of DEI

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Already, five members of the Committee on University Governance at UNC voted in April 2024 to reverse and replace a policy related to DEI. However, the university will only be rid of DEI initiatives once the 24 members of the Board of Governors have a majority vote supporting that move. 

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