May 24, 2024

2 min

University Of North Carolina Board Of Governors Votes To Repeal DEI Policy, Likely Resulting In Removal Of Related Roles Across Its 17 Public Universities

University Of North Carolina Board Of Governors Votes To Repeal DEI Policy, Likely Resulting In Removal Of Related Roles Across Its 17 Public Universities
Photo Credit: Maskot


A diversity policy is being repealed in North Carolina’s public university system.

As AFROTECH™ previously reported, the University of North Carolina (UNC) System Board of Governors’ University Governance Committee had approved “a policy that repeals the university system’s existing policy and regulation on diversity and inclusion.”

This would impact all 17 public universities in the state and lead to the elimination of diversity programs and likely end DEI job roles, although the policy allows universities to “implement programming or services designed to have a positive effect on the academic performance, retention, or graduation of students from different backgrounds,” The News & Observer reports.

When a position or office is terminated or changed, chancellors will be required to explain to UNC System President Peter Hans how “reductions in force and spending” were caused by the cuts and how the “savings achieved” could be “redirected to initiatives related to student success and well-being.”
“There is broad and deep commitment to that goal, and support for the UNC System’s longstanding efforts to reflect the diversity of North Carolina,” Hans told the outlet. “We have well-established laws and policies that prohibit discrimination, protect equal opportunity, and require a safe and supportive learning environment for all students. We will uphold those responsibilities.”

Meanwhile, as previously reported, students remained greatly concerned, including Alexander Denza, an organizer of the Southern Student Action Coalition and the UNC-Chapel Hill group TransparUNCy.

“These changes that they’re making right now are going to have a chilling effect on speech and also [on] discourse in our communities,” Denza said, per The News & Observer. He also noted that the campus and overall UNC System had recently shared intentions to promote open discourse.
Samuel Scarborough, a UNC student who is also a member of the group, commented, “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. We were not given this opportunity.”
UNC System spokesperson Andy Wallace had previously shared that the public had not been able to attend the meeting at the time of the vote as there was a “lack of available seats” and the voting had occurred so quickly — it took less than five minutes.

In the most recent announcement, it appears the 24-member University of North Carolina System Board of Governors officially added the repeal to its agenda and approved a vote to revoke the five-year DEI policy, with two members voting against the action, according to The Telegraph. Changes will go into effect starting the next school year.

Despite the repeal, the outlet notes the policy will not alter classroom instruction, university research, student organizations, and cultural centers. However, DEI staff will likely be required to change their titles and responsibilities to fulfill policy guidelines, with further instructions set to be released in the summer.

Funding that was designated for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) offices will now be allocated towards “student success initiatives.”

“There’s no reason why we can’t, as university trustees, signal that this is the direction the university needs to take. I feel good about it,” said Dave Boliek, the board’s budget chair.


Samantha Dorisca
Samantha Dorisca

Samantha Dorisca is a Houston-based journalist and photographer whose mission is to impact communities through the gift of storytelling using the written word or visual media. She completed her B.A at The University of Texas at Austin and is pursuing a M.A at The University of Memphis. Her work can be found on platforms such as Houstonia Magazine, Girls' Life Magazine, and Blacque Magazine. Samantha mainly reports on tech, trends, and entrepreneurship.

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