UNC System Board Of Governors’ Committee Approves A Policy That Would Essentially Eliminate DEI Jobs At Public Universities Across North Carolina

UNC System Board Of Governors’ Committee Approves A Policy That Would Essentially Eliminate DEI Jobs At Public Universities Across North Carolina

A new move made by a group of education officials in North Carolina has the power to do a state-wide sweep of programs committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at public universities.

According to The News & Observer, the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors’ University Governance Committee has approved “a policy that repeals the university system’s existing policy and regulation on diversity and inclusion.”

The move will reportedly disband laws in place requiring all 17 public campuses within the state of North Carolina to employ diversity officers as well as drive efforts toward a common goal of fulfilling diversity-related measures.

Per the Raleigh, NC-based outlet, the committee held an open-session portion of their meeting, lasting about five minutes, where they passed the policy unanimously with no discussion.

In the wake of the news, current students have expressed their concern for what the policy means for the future of access to education in the state.

“Knowing that institutionally, we don’t have as much power as we wish we had, we want to at least be present in the room as these decisions are happening and have a chance to speak,” said Samuel Scarborough, a member of the Southern Student Action Coalition and the UNC-Chapel Hill group TransparUNCy. “We were not given this opportunity.”

UNC System spokesperson Andy Wallace disclosed that members of the public were unable to enter the meeting room due to a “lack of available seats” and “because the open-session portion of the meeting, in which the vote took place, lasted for such a short time.”

While the new policy will eliminate the aforementioned diversity-related jobs, on the flip side, universities will be able to keep those positions intact — though any ties to diversity will be required to be removed. The policy will also open the door for campus centers dedicated to diversity to be eliminated. However, universities are still allowed to “implement programming or services designed to have a positive effect on the academic performance, retention, or graduation of students from different backgrounds.”

Next, the proposal will make its way to a 24-member board, which will provide a final decision during its May meeting. At this time, the policy will be considered on the consent agenda, meaning that the board has the opportunity to vote on the policy without further discussion.

Should the policy be approved, it would take effect immediately and chancellors will be “required to certify they have made changes to align their campuses with the changes by Sept. 1.”

The move comes just days shy of a previous report by AFROTECH™ where North Carolina’s Duke University just pulled the plug on its Reginaldo Howard Memorial Scholarship Program, a full-ride scholarship dedicated to Black students in need of financial assistance to attend the four-year university.

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