Home » North Carolina university committee swiftly passes policy change that could cut diversity staff

North Carolina university committee swiftly passes policy change that could cut diversity staff

by NBC News

RALEIGH, N.C. — The future of diversity, equity and inclusion staff jobs in North Carolina’s public university system could be at stake after a five-person committee swiftly voted to repeal a key policy Wednesday.

The Committee on University Governance, within the University of North Carolina Board of Governors that oversees 17 schools, voted in less than four minutes to reverse and replace a policy related to DEI. The full board of 24 members is to vote on the matter again next month, and if approved, the repeal would take effect immediately.

If the policy is fully repealed, the UNC system could join other major universities in dismantling their diversity offices. Among the most notable, the University of Florida in Gainesville announced in a memo last month that it was scrapping its office and shifting its funding for faculty recruitment instead.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.Eros Hoagland / Getty Images file

In Texas, universities saw major cuts in their diversity and inclusion staff in 2024 in compliance with a state ban signed into law last year. The state higher education board in Kansas was also to address a ban on diversity initiatives in hiring staff and accepting students Wednesday.

At least 20 states have seen Republican bill proposals seeking to limit diversity and inclusion programs in several public institutions such as universities.

Diversity, equity and inclusion is defined by the American Psychological Association as a framework to guide “fair treatment and full participation of all people,” especially those belonging to minority groups. It has become a recurring point of contention for conservatives who argue DEI programs are discriminatory.

The proposed policy change, first reported by The News & Observer of Raleigh, would impact a diversity, equity and inclusion regulation adopted in 2019. It defines the roles of various DEI positions — such as a system office diversity and inclusion liaison and diversity…

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