May 13, 2024 - News

UNC-Chapel Hill moves to shift funding away from DEI programs

A student walks near the student union at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Photo: Cornell Watson for The Washington Post via Getty Images

UNC-Chapel Hill's Board of Trustees voted Monday to redirect $2.3 million from funding diversity, equity and inclusion programs at the university toward public safety efforts, WUNC reported.

Why it matters: The diversion of the money comes a month after the entire UNC system moved to repeal and replace a diversity and inclusion policy in favor of a policy that it says maintains "institutional neutrality."

  • The replacement policy the UNC system is considering does not include outlined responsibilities for diversity staff. It calls for individual schools to comply by changing job titles and position descriptions in those areas and to note "reductions in force and spending," Axios previously reported.

Context: In 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court transformed UNC's admissions process, ruling that it discriminated against white and Asian American applicants by giving more weight to applicants from underrepresented groups.

What they're saying: During the specially called meeting, the board of trustees — appointed by the UNC Board of Governors and the Republican-led N.C. General Assembly — pointed to the recent pro-Palestinian protests at UNC as a reason for shifting money toward public safety.

  • "When you destroy property or you take down the U.S. flag and you have to put up gates around it — that costs money," UNC Board of Trustees member Marty Kotis said, per WUNC. "It's imperative that we have the proper resources for law enforcement to protect the campus."
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