Woke Doesn’t Mean Broke at UNC

By Adam Andrzejewski | OpenTheBooks.com

Editor’s note: Mr. Andrzejewski and his staff are tenacious researchers. The County Compass is indebted to them for this report.

CHAPEL HILL – The University of North Carolina’s 16 campuses spend no less than $90 million per year in pay and benefits on no fewer than 686 staffers under the “diversity, equity and inclusion” (DEI) umbrella. On Thursday, May 23, the system’s governing board may end the controversial program that institutionalizes bias and prejudice based on neo-Marxist principles and falsehoods.

Our audit team at OpenTheBooks.com reviewed official university payrolls after filing records requests and searched university websites for DEI committees and their membership lists. Here’s how the UNC program breaks down:

  • 288 are employed in DEI-related roles listed on the UNC system’s payroll.
  • Another 398 people were found to hold DEI-related roles not shown in the payroll records. Found on university websites, these employees are members of DEI committees, commissions and councils.
  • An additional 80 students were appointed to mostly volunteer DEI roles.
  • Another 66 employees are listed on the university websites for DEI committees but don’t appear in the university payroll – likely meaning the websites are out of date.

We found at least 30 DEI-focused groups steering diversity, equity, and inclusion across the 16 universities. These pulled professors, lecturers, advisors, librarians, directors, and deans out of their academic functions and into efforts to spread DEI policies and principles. We uncovered empirical evidence that DEI has permeated 300 departments across every aspect the UNC system of 50,000 employees.

We asked UNC President Peter Hans (and a spokesperson) why the system invests so much money and energy into DEI, but they have not yet responded to our requests for comment. Nevertheless, DEI has become toxic in the court of public opinion. With nearly $100 million in annual student tuition and taxpayer money pushing DEI, the administration could hope to out-live the headlines.

Instead, it appears the UNC Board’s action on Thursday will be decisive. If it seeks to fund additional teaching and research (as opposed to Left-wing ideology), then the future path for UNC is clear, and rightly so. None of the DEI worldview helps educate, research, or prepare students for the most competitive economy in history.