May 30, 2023

UC Berkeley spends $25M a year, pays 400 employees to advance ‘equity and inclusion’

UC Berkeley employs 150 professionals and 250 additional students dedicated to addressing “systemic inequities,” according to a document obtained this week by The College Fix.

The public research institution’s Division of Equity and Inclusion spends $25 million annually to support the 400 full and part-time staff to run diversity and inclusion-related programs, according to the document, an eight-page job description for a new Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion.

These programs 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.”

According to the document, 58% of Berkeley’s $25 million diversity budget is from “campus and state funds,” or taxpayer money and tuition, 31% is from federal and state public service grants, and 11% is from philanthropy and private grants.

UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof told The College Fix that the $25 million equity and inclusion budget makes up less than one percent of the university’s total budget, and that the school has “no plans” to seek any increase in funding for the division.

Mogulof added the school is “uncertain why anyone would oppose efforts to ensure that every student on an extraordinarily diverse campus feels an equal sense of belonging to the campus’s community.”

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 found laboratory studies show that “force-feeding” diversity training can “activate bias rather than stamp it out.”

The job notice for the new Vice Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion states the 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 notice further notes the new hire will oversee “30 dedicated academic and administrative department-level chief diversity officers” across the Berkeley campus.

This article was originally posted on UC Berkeley spends $25M a year, pays 400 employees to advance ‘equity and inclusion’

Sydney Boles