UNITED STATES NEWS

UNC board slashes diversity program funding to divert money to public safety resources

May 13, 2024, 11:00 AM

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — As North Carolina’s public university system considers a vote on changing its diversity policy, the system’s flagship university board voted Monday to cut funding for diversity programs in next year’s budget.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Trustees approved a change that would divert $2.3 million of diversity funding to go toward public safety and policing at a special meeting to address the university’s budget. The board’s vote would only impact UNC-Chapel Hill’s diversity funding, which could result in the loss of its diversity office.

The vote to shift more funding to public safety comes as continued pro-Palestinian protests on UNC’s campus have resulted in several arrests in recent weeks. The budget committee vice-chair Marty Kotis said law enforcement has already been forced to react to protests, but they need more funding to keep the university “safe from a larger threat.”

“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,” Kotis said. “It takes away resources for others.”

After approving the change in the budget committee, the full board passed the measure at the end of the special meeting. Budget chair Dave Boliek, who is also running for state auditor in Tuesday’s runoff election, said it gives the university an “opportunity to lead on this” and get ahead of the vote by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors’ on its diversity policy.

Last month, the statewide board’s Committee on University Governance voted to reverse and replace its DEI policy for 17 schools across the state. The change would alter a 2019 diversity, equity and inclusion regulation that defines the roles of various DEI positions — and it would appear to eliminate those jobs if the policy is removed.

The full 24-member board is scheduled to vote next week on the policy change. If the alteration is approved, it will take effect immediately.

United States News

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UNC board slashes diversity program funding to divert money to public safety resources