State’s Universities Spent Millions On ‘Diversity’ Initiatives

State’s Universities Spent Millions On ‘Diversity’ Initiatives

Ailan Evans on February 7, 2023

Virginia public universities spent more than $15 million in 2020 to pay Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) staff members, according to a January report by Virginia Association of Scholars (VAS).

A total of 15 universities paid DEI staff more than $15,050,635.00 in 2020, according to the report titled “Should Virginians Pay for University ‘Diversity’ Leftism?” The figures is expected to have increased in more recent years, as more DEI programs were added in 2021 and 2022, the report read.

The University of Virginia (UVA) paid 38 DEI-related administrators a combined total of $4,149,732 in 2020 while James Madison University (JMU) paid 33 administrators $2,566,326 the same year. An analysis of 2021 public salary data, which is available at both universities, showed an 82% increase in DEI expenditures in a single year, according to VAS.

UVA paid 77 DEI-related administrators a total of $6,924,279 in 2021. JMU’s DEI staff increased to 65 administrators and cost $5,302,266.

“Were this pattern to hold for Virginia’s schools overall, DEI administrative salary spending in 2021 would be roughly 1.8 times higher than in 2020, or approximately $27 million,” the report read.

The 2020 total is a “conservative” estimate tallied by VAS using data available on salaries of administrators identified as related to DEI through their job titles, such as “Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Partnerships,” according to the report. The money used to fund DEI salaries on campus “could have funded over 1,100 full tuition scholarships for Virginia students, especially for those in financial need.”

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The money also “could have funded approximately 150 full-time professors” since the average salary in 2020 was less than $100,000, the report reads.

The estimate, however, does not reflect the full amount universities could be spending to fully support its DEI staff, according to the report.

“These estimates are based on salary, not the full dollar costs to the employer, and are thus exclusive of benefits, payroll taxes, and so on,” the report reads. “They also exclude other costs for activities, including overhead and countless hidden and miscellaneous expenditures to implement DEI ideology such as required training (including for orientation), mandatory programs employees, on-campus councils on-campus centers, and unidentified DEI administrators.”

The report provided a full breakdown to detail how many DEI staff were employed by each public university and how much their combined total cost. George Mason University, which staffed 20 DEI administrators, spent more than $1.3 million in 2020 while Virginia Tech, which reported 47 DEI administrators, spent more than $4 million.

There were 180 DEI-related administrators among the 15 universities in 2020. Only Virginia State University and Virginia Military Institute, which were included in the survey, did not report any DEI-related administrators.

VAS and the universities did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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