University Of North Carolina Repeals DEI Mandates, Pledges To Focus On Institutional Neutrality
CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA - JUNE 29: People walk on the campus of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill on June 29, 2023 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that race-conscious admission policies used by Harvard and the University of North Carolina violate the Constitution, bringing an end to affirmative action in higher education.
Credit: Photo by Eros Hoagland/Getty Images.

The leadership board that governs policies at the University of North Carolina voted on Thursday to repeal previous diversity, equity, and inclusion policies in favor of new neutrality focused guidelines. 

The vote from the UNC System Board of Governors ended a policy that forced each of the 17 schools in the system to have a DEI officer and to monitor campus diversity. New policies say that the university is committed to “equality of opportunity in education and employment.”

The new guidelines say that the university is committed to free speech, academic freedom, and ensuring equality of different viewpoints and people. “

The policy adds that “addressing the needs of individuals — requires that each be treated as an individual deserving of dignity and inclusion. The University shall continue to ensure that diverse persons of any background, from North Carolina and beyond, are invited, included, and treated equally.”

“Non-discrimination, institutional neutrality, free expression, and academic freedom are all mutually reinforcing concepts and values,” UNC President Peter Hans said Thursday, according to the News and Observer. “We are here to serve all, not just those who agree with us. When these principles are faithfully held, they allow diversity in all forms to thrive.”

“It’s good for college students to encounter liberal ideas, to become familiar with the best forms of progressive thought our society has to offer,” he added. “It’s good for college students to encounter conservative ideas, to appreciate traditional perspectives and hear strong right-of-center arguments.” 

The previous guidelines required the DEI officer to “promote and advance diversity and inclusion throughout all levels and areas of the institution” through training, outreach, education programs, and strategies. 


In the new guidelines section on institutional neutrality, employees of the university are prohibited from consulting or contracting on “matters of contemporary political debate or social action” in their official capacity as a university employee.

Earlier this month, the UNC-Chapel Hill board of trustees voted to gut funding for the school’s DEI department and give the money to campus police instead.

“I think that DEI in a lot of people’s minds is divisiveness, exclusion and indoctrination,” said UNC-Chapel Hill budget committee vice chairman Marty Kotis. “We need more unity and togetherness, more dialogue, more diversity of thought.”

Republican-led states across the country have moved to block public universities from implementing DEI policies that value identity over merit. 

Related: Activism Over Education? Law School Embraced Drag Shows And Social Justice Amid Rankings Free Fall

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