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This public university will spend nearly $3 million on diversity this year alone

Thousands spent on receptions, women’s programs, student workers

The University of Iowa has earmarked over $2.7 million for its Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for this fiscal year. The budget, a copy of which was obtained by The College Fix, spans nearly 70 different activities and spending categories.

Formerly known as the “Chief Diversity Office,” the division states as its goal achieving “excellence through diversity, equity, and inclusion” by “providing leadership and resources to advance UI’s diversity, equity, and inclusion goals, coordinating central diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, advancing recruitment and retention of faculty, students, and staff, enhancing a welcoming, respectful, and inclusive climate for all, and connecting with community diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.”

Director of Legislative Operations and Project Management Ann Frances V. Goff provided The Fix with an itemized budget of the office, which revealed that the largest single share of the $2.7 million is dedicated to the salaries of staff and personnel. Those expenditures total roughly $1.9 million. The division’s website lists 32 individuals under its staff directory.

Spokeswoman Anne Bassett told The Fix via email that the office also currently employs seven student workers. According to the budget, $36,000 is set aside for them.

Another $32,920 of the budget is designated for “Institutional Membership Dues” being paid to organizations like the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity or Association of the Title IX Administrators, costing $10,000 and $5,000 respectively.

Wide variety of expenditures

The school also spends $5,000 on food and space for “Faculty of Color Receptions / Activities.” Basset told The Fix that these events “started in 2015 with a mixer to connect faculty of color on campus. The program expanded to include the Office of the Provost in the conversation, specifically to host informational webinars from the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity of which UI is a member”.

“In the most recent events, our office partnered with the UI Diversity Councils to host a welcome reception at the beginning of the academic year and with the Diversity Councils and the Office of the Provost for a spring mixer. The budget for this event pays for space and food.”

Another initiative being funded through the office is the Women’s Leadership Program. Basset said that the “ultimate goal of the program” is to “hear stories, lessons, etc. from women in upper-level positions at the institution with hopes to encourage and inspire others to follow. All sessions are recorded and put on the website with discussion guides for folks to use in their units after the sessions.”

“The events are free for individuals to attend. The budget for this event pays for space, light refreshments, video recording, video captioning, and a book raffle.”

Some of the other items on the budget include $8,000 for a “Diversity Survey,” $2,500 for a “Safe Zone,” and $1,000 for a “Cup o’ Justice.”

The “Cup o’ Justice” program seeks to “promote intergenerational and interdisciplinary dialogue about social justice, civil rights, and civic engagement.” The program has offered four to six speakers every year since its inception in 2014.

The office’s digest offers further details of the division’s undertakings. Among those is a program called “Better Hawkeyes, Better Men,” which is “dedicated to promoting healthy masculinity across campus, specifically engaging groups where students who identify as men come together.” Another program distributes “safer sex supplies inclusive of all sexual orientations” to various locations around campus.

MORE: University pours almost $7 million per year into diversity payroll, benefits

MORE: School pledges another $20 million in diversity hiring funds

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About the Author
Sarah George -- Georgetown University