UNC-Chapel Hill Cuts $2.3 Million From DEI Budget, Diverts It to Campus Police, Public Safety

The North Carolina university becomes the latest public university to join in the anti-DEI fight.

Ethan Hyman/The News & Observer via AP
Graduates have their photo taken by the Old Well as pro-Palestinian protesters chant behind them at UNC Chapel Hill on Saturday, May 11, 2024. Ethan Hyman/The News & Observer via AP

In the latest chapter of public schools moving away from diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is cutting millions from its DEI budget in order to provide more resources for public safety and campus police. The Board of Trustees vote to divert the funding Monday was unanimous. 

A member of the school’s Board of Trustees, Marty Kotis, who also sits on the budget and finance committee, said DEI programs were too divisive for his alma mater. “I think that DEI in a lot of people’s minds is divisiveness, exclusion and indoctrination,” Mr. Kotis said at the meeting, according to North Carolina Public Radio. “We need more unity and togetherness, more dialogue, more diversity of thought.”

Mr. Kotis also said that the recent anti-Israel protests on campus demonstrated the need for more police funding, especially given that the law enforcement from surrounding localities refused to help the university police in dispersing the protest. 

“When you destroy property or you take down the U.S flag and you have to put up gates around it — that costs money,” Mr. Kotis said. “It’s imperative that we have the proper resources for law enforcement to protect the campus.”

The decision by the board of trustees to cut the DEI funding may trickle up to the University of North Carolina system’s Board of Governors, which oversees all 17 of the UNC systems across the state. 

In April, the university governance committee for the board of governors passed a resolution that would have mandated cuts to DEI initiatives at all 17 campuses. The full board is expected to vote on the resolution in the coming weeks. If it is passed, all 17 university chancellors will have until September to outline how they will cut back on these programs in the coming year. 

UNC–Chapel Hill is just the latest public university to join in the anti-DEI fight, though most of the cuts to the diversity programs have come from the state legislatures, not the boards of trustees themselves. Texas, Florida, and Tennessee are just a few of the states that have either banned or severely curtailed the scope and size of public university DEI offices. 

Texas state senator Brandon Creighton, who helped pass his state’s DEI ban at public universities, said Texas ought to “put an end to all activities that discriminate against students based on their race, ethnicity, or gender.”

The New York Sun

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