Top University Spent $70M On DEI Programs

( – A new report is unveiling how taxpayers in North Carolina ended up funding so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs in the University of North Carolina school system to the tune of $70 million per year!

Open The Books is an organization that exposes taxpayer waste and abuse. A new report from the organization found 16 colleges and universities under the UNC umbrella that were paying hefty salaries to DEI administrators.

The report showed 288 people employed specifically in DEI-related roles, while a further 398 were on committees, councils, or other working groups focused on DEI. There were also 80 students who were paid or volunteered to facilitate DEI on campuses.

The salaries were excessive: Chief Diversity Officer at UNC Chapel Hill, Leah Cox, takes home enough $317,538/year. Vice provost of institutional equity and diversity Sheri Schwab makes $232,964/year.

UNC Chapel Hill dishes out roughly $30 million per year to DEI hires. North Carolina State spends $16.4 million/year on their DEI employees. The cost-per-student at the school worked out to $27,036. Report authors highlighted that the amount could be spent on fostering scholarships for 1,000 students in need.

The report revealed there were multiple employees affiliated with DEI administration that took home over six figures. When benefits like retirement, healthcare, and other programs are accounted for, the total cost to state taxpayers rises to $90 million per year.

The report highlighted another large state educational system, the University of Virginia, spending roughly $20 million per year on similar programs within the state.

North Carolina spends over $1 billion per year on the UNC school system, with an additional $3.7 billion in state funding allocated to the system in 2023 under a two-year plan to enhance and upgrade the system.

The tide could be turning, however, after a May 13 vote by the board of trustees unanimously cut DEI funding and shifted it toward campus police. Vice Chair of the board’s budget and finance working groups Marty Kotis told press that the programs were divisive and discriminatory, suggesting they were harming campus environments.

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