The University of California-Berkeley, which costs upwards of $40,000 a year for those living on-campus, spends $25 million a year just on its employees in charge of promoting “diversity and inclusion.”
The College Fix reported that the school “employs 150 professionals and 250 additional students dedicated to addressing ‘systemic inequities,’” according to a document the outlet obtained. These employees work for the school’s Division of Equity and Inclusion, which spends $25 million a year on its workers and programs.
These programs, according to the document, include “staff diversity formal collaborations with People & Culture, the Othering & Belonging Institute, the American Cultures Engaged Community teaching program, the Basic Needs Center, and other programs serving a broad array of constituencies.”
The document obtained by the Fix was an eight-page job description for the position of Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion. The document also notes that 58% of the $25 million for the department comes from taxpayers and tuition, which they refer to as “campus and state funds.” Another 31% comes from federal and state public service grants, with the final 11% provided by philanthropy and private grants.
Dan Mogulof, a spokesman for the university, told the Fix that the money spent on the diversity and inclusion department represents less than 1% of the school’s total budget, adding the school has “no plans” to increase the division’s budget. Mogulof said the school was “uncertain why anyone would oppose efforts to ensure that every student on an extraordinarily diverse campus feels a [sic] equal sense of belonging to the campus’s community.”
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By comparison, the University of Michigan’s diversity budget is nearly $7 million per year. In 2018, a state economics professor caused a stir when he reported that Michigan paid roughly 50 diversity employees.
According to the Harvard Business Review, thousands of studies have been conducted over the past several decades to determine whether diversity programs work, and few have shown any benefit.
“It shouldn’t be surprising that most diversity programs aren’t increasing diversity,” the authors found. “Despite a few new bells and whistles, courtesy of big data, companies are basically doubling down on the same approaches they’ve used since the 1960s—which often make things worse, not better.”
The authors of the study found that “force-feeding” diversity can actually “activate bias rather than stamp it out,” a consequence that works to the benefit of those demanding more money for diversity and inclusion departments.
As reported by the Fix, the job notice for UC-Berkeley’s new vice chancellor position contains numerous current “buzzwords” surrounding diversity. The job notice states that the new hire will “advance Berkeley’s public mission and goals of becoming a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and an anti-racist campus by boldly establishing new paradigms and implementing strategies and tactics that further embed diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice practices into the fiber of the Berkeley campus.”
The Fix pointed out that despite the massive budget, just 3.7% of Berkeley’s undergraduate students in the 2020-2021 school year are African-American. Another 18% are Hispanic. Left out of the job notice is the fact that 39% of the student population is Asian.