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North Carolina public universities board puts the brakes on DEI policy

North Carolina public universities board puts the brakes on DEI policy


North Carolina public universities board puts the brakes on DEI policy

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina’s public university system board voted Thursday to repeal a nearly five-year-old diversity, equity and inclusion policy, meaning its 17 schools will likely join other major universities in cutting diversity programs and jobs.

The 24-member University of North Carolina Board of Governors approved its agenda, which included the diversity policy repeal, with two members voting against the repeal. The board’s affirmative vote means the change takes effect immediately, although the system said campus changes are expected to take place at the start of the 2024-2025 school year.

The policy change focuses on removing a 2019 regulation that outlines various DEI positions — such as diversity officers across the university system — and also defines officers’ roles and duties, such as assisting with diversity programming and managing trainings for staff and students.

The new policy does not include the outlined responsibilities of DEI officers and liaisons, suggesting they may be eliminated. The university system said in a document addressing questions about the policy that its goal is not to cut jobs, but some positions could be discontinued to comply with the new change.

Extra funding originally designated to DEI offices will go to “student success initiatives,” the system said.

DEI has become one of the most contentious issues on college campuses in recent years as conservatives have claimed that the practices can lead to discrimination.

Last year, a group of Asian students won a court battle against Harvard University. The Supreme Court ruled Harvard's affirmative action program was unconstitutional.