UNC’s Chapel Hill Board Diverts $2.3 Million From Diversity Programs To Public Safety

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Trustees unanimously voted on Monday to cut funding for diversity programs and redirect the money toward public safety and policing. The decision comes as the board approved next year’s budget amid ongoing pro-Palestinian protests on campus that have led to several arrests in recent weeks.

The change will reallocate $2.3 million from state funds earmarked for diversity spending to bolster law enforcement resources. Board Chair David Boliek said the university is “taking a leadership role” in addressing administrative bloat and prioritizing “rubber-meets-the-road efforts like public safety and teaching.”

The funding cut set to take effect on July 1, 2024, could potentially impact jobs and result in the loss of UNC’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion, which currently has a staff of 12. However, the final decision on the fate of the diversity office will be made by interim Chancellor Lee Roberts and his team.

Trustee Marty Kotis argued that law enforcement needed more funding to keep the university “safe from a larger threat” and consider the needs of all 30,000 students, not just the 100 or so protesters. The board’s vote comes ahead of next week’s expected vote by the UNC Board of Governors on changing the diversity policy for all 17 public universities in the state.