Posted on February 7, 2023

Oklahoma Colleges and Universities Spent More Than $10 Million in Diversity Initiatives

Alexa Schwerha, Daily Caller, February 6, 2023

Oklahoma public colleges and universities spent more than $10 million on initiatives to bolster Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in the past fiscal year, according to documents obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Ryan Walters, Oklahoma superintendent and education secretary, requested a report on Jan. 24 detailing how much money state higher education institutions spent on DEI programming in the past decade from Oklahoma State System of Higher Education chancellor Allison Garrett by Feb. 1, Tulsa World reported. The results determined that the system budgeted $10.2 million for the current fiscal year — $3.7 million of which came from state funds.

The University of Oklahoma (UO) spent $1,279,302 of taxpayers money during the 2022-2023 academic year to fund its Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) spent $274,763 from state funds to support its Office of Diversity & Inclusion staff’s salary and benefits.

Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) spent $1,055 on an introductory workshop “to review core Safe Zone terminology used to define sexuality and sexual orientation,” $348 of which was state funds. Another workshop was titled “What is DEI?” and a third taught how to limit “bias” during an interview, both of which used state funding.

Northeastern State University used thousands of state-issued funds to offer courses which embed DEI into the curriculum including “Feminist and Social Activism” and “Intro to Women’s & Gender Studies.” {snip}

“It is important to note that there are certain laws that require diversity, equity and inclusion practices, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act,” Garrett wrote in her response to Walters, which was obtained by the DCNF. “Additionally, Higher Learning Commission and program-specific accreditors — including those for nursing, engineering, education, and business degree programs — require institutions to demonstrate diversity, equity, and inclusion in their practices, policies and curriculum to maintain accreditation.”


The amount spent on DEI increased approximately $2.9 million since the 2013-2014 academic year with the amount of state funds used increasing by nearly $1.4 million, the documents show.