UNC Diverts Funds From DEI to Police

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Image by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Image by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill eliminated its “diversity, equity, and inclusion” programs, reallocating millions of taxpayer dollars toward campus police and public safety.

UNC-Chapel Hill’s board of trustees unanimously voted to shift the $2.3 million the university spends on DEI programs toward public safety measures, according to The News & Observer.

The vote was part of the university’s annual budget approval process. UNC-Chapel Hill’s operating budget totaled over $4 billion in the previous fiscal year.

University officials said they believe that jobs will be cut due to the decision.

“My personal opinion is that there’s administrative bloat in the university,” Board Chair David Boliek told The News & Observer. “… Any cuts in administration and diverting of dollars to rubber-meets-the-road efforts like public safety and teaching is important.”

Boliek expressed criticism of the campus’ DEI programs.

“DEI has been an effort to say, ‘you must think a certain way,’ or otherwise you’re somehow inherently evil or somehow not inherently smart,” he opined, per WRAL News.

While Boliek claimed the reallocation of taxpayer money was being considered before the recent tumult caused by anti-Israel agitators on campus, Board Trustee Marty Kotis told The News & Observer that law enforcement needed the money following the protests’ aftermath.

“It’s important to consider the needs of all 30,000 students, not just 100 or so that may want to disrupt the university’s operations,” Kotis said.

UNC-Chapel Hill made headlines earlier this month when a group of fraternity brothers held the American flag off of the ground during an anti-Israel protest on campus. A GoFundMe page set up for the fraternity brothers raised over $122,000 to “throw this frat the party they deserve.”

Not everyone at UNC-Chapel Hill was pleased with the decision to defund the school’s DEI programs.

“I was gravely disappointed, frustrated, upset, concerned that the decision sends the wrong message that not all students are welcome at UNC,” said Reggie Shuford, a double alum of UNC-Chapel Hill, according to WRAL News. “It’s not the UNC I am used to. It was open. It was welcoming. It invited critical debate.”

“This seems punitive to me,” he added. It seems short-sighted, and I’m concerned the decision will scare people away—not just from UNC but also from families who are thinking about moving to North Carolina.”

The UNC Board of Governors, which oversees colleges in the UNC System, is reportedly expected to vote next week on cutting taxpayer spending on DEI programs at its campuses.

Under its current DEI policy, each university in the UNC System must employ at least one senior-level staff member who develops policies and strategic plans to foster and enhance “diversity” and “inclusion.”

The proposed policy would eliminate these positions. Each university chancellor would be required to prove to UNC System President Peter Hans by September 1 that the staffing changes were made. Additionally, the university chancellor would report how much taxpayer money was saved from eliminating the jobs that could then be reallocated to student services.

The University of Texas at Dallas saw similar staffing changes last month following Texas’ ban on DEI initiatives that went into effect earlier this year. The university let go of approximately 20 employees, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

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