Breaking Campus News. Launching Media Careers.
University of North Carolina board repeals DEI mandates for all 17 campuses, DEI jobs on chopping block

UNC system spends at least $90 million per year for some 686 staffers under DEI umbrella, watchdog found

The UNC System Board of Governors on Thursday voted to repeal a five-year-old policy mandating diversity, equity and inclusion offices on each of its 17 campuses, paving the way for diversity jobs to by cut systemwide.

The axed policy had also required the UNC system office plus all UNC universities to work toward DEI goals. The 24-member board voted by voice; two black trustees voted no on the new policy, WRAL Raleigh reported.

The vote prompted protests near the meeting, some of which become violent, according to reporters on the scene.

The vote replaced the repealed policy with a new one that “calls for each institution to certify by Sept. 1 that it ‘fully complies with the university’s commitment to institutional neutrality and nondiscrimination,'” the news station reported, adding:

It requires each school to “include a report on reductions in force and spending, along with changes to job titles and position descriptions, undertaken as a result of implementing this policy and how those savings achieved … can be redirected to initiatives related to student success and wellbeing.”

In an information sheet handed out by the Board of Governors after the vote, it said “the goal of this policy is not necessarily to cut jobs, but to move our universities away from administrative activism on social and political debates. It is going to take some time to determine how many positions could be modified or discontinued to ensure that institutions are aligning with this revised policy.”

The new policy places an emphasis on equality, stating that “each be treated as an individual deserving of dignity and inclusion.” In defining diversity, it lists “backgrounds, beliefs, viewpoints, abilities, culture and traditions.”

The move puts DEI jobs on the chopping block.

DEI-related positions will likely either need to be terminated or job titles and descriptions tying them to DEI will need to be changed, the Raleigh News & Observer reported.

According to Open The Books, a nonprofit fiscal watchdog, the University of North Carolina system spends at least $90 million per year in pay and benefits to some 686 staffers under the DEI umbrella.

The new policy “appears to allow some DEI-related efforts, such as those dedicated to student success and performance, to remain, though they could have to be changed in some way. The policy also provides exceptions for student-led organizations, such as extracurricular clubs, that receive funding from student-activity fees,” the Observer reported.

UNC System President Peter Hans said at the meeting that students and faculty should confront “competing ideas” but the role of public universities is to remain neutral on “political controversies,” the Associated Press reported.

“No one can speak for the whole university community on contentious issues because the university is not of one mind about anything,” Hans said.

As The College Fix reported last week, UNC Chapel Hill, the state’s flagship university, agreed to eliminate $2.3 million in diversity, equity and inclusion funding and allocate the money spent on such efforts to police and campus safety instead.

MORE: UNC Chapel Hill to slash $2.3M in DEI funding, divert money to police, campus safety

IMAGE: YouTube screenshot

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

Please join the conversation about our stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, MeWe, Rumble, Gab, Minds and Gettr.

About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor-in-chief of The College Fix.