Posted on May 14, 2024

University of North Carolina to Dump ‘Divisive’ DEI, Spend Funds on Public Safety

Jorge L. Ortiz, USA Today, May 13, 2024

Amid campus protests nationwide and a push to revise diversity policies at state public universities, the Board of Trustees for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill voted Monday to redirect the $2.3 million that funded diversity, equity and inclusion programs toward public safety measures.

The unanimous decision comes ahead of a vote next week by the UNC Board of Governors that’s expected to limit DEI initiatives and may lead to personnel layoffs. The board’s governance committee approved the change for all public colleges and universities in April, but the move requires a vote by the full board.

Trustee Marty Kotis, vice-chair of the budget committee, said the funds are needed for campus policing and safety in light of the pro-Palestinian protests that swept through college campuses in late April and earlier this month. At UNC Chapel Hill, 36 demonstrators were detained – six of them arrested – and the U.S. flag was replaced by a Palestinian one during an April 30 protest.

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

Kotis also called DEI policies, first implemented at North Carolina’s flagship university in 2017, “discriminatory and divisive,’’ according to Chapel Hill-based public radio station WUNC.