University of Michigan Spends More Than $18 Million on DEI Staff Salary, Benefits: Report

The University of Michigan will spend more than $18 million this academic year on salary and benefits for its diversity, equity, and inclusion staff, according to an analysis by economics professor emeritus Mark Perry.

That figure, which amounts to the cost of in-state tuition for 1,075 students, will be paid out to more than 142 staff during the 2022 to 2023 school year, according to Perry’s analysis of public data. 

The university’s vice provost for equity and inclusion, Tabbye Chavous Sellers, is the highest-paid DEI staffer. Sellers, the wife of former DEI provost Robert Sellers, makes $380,000. Seventeen DEI staffers make more than $200,000 in total compensation, according to the data. Ninety-five staffers make more than $100,000 in total compensation.

The university’s DEI staff has seen rapid growth in recent years; in the 2018 and 2019 academic year the school employed just 82 DEI staffers, for a total cost of $10.6 million. The staff grew to 126 during the 2021 to 2022 school year at a total cost of $15.6 million.

Staff positions with “diversity,” “equity,” or “inclusion” in the job title did not begin popping up at the university until the 2004 to 2005 school year, Perry told the Daily Caller.

“In my opinion, most colleges like UM are spending way too much money on DIE efforts, and it’s incredibly wasteful because those efforts are part of advancing the new DIE religion in higher education and directly contradict the core mission of a university — to educate students, teach critical thinking and expose them to intellectual diversity — in favor of pursuing misguided goals of social justice, racial justice, and gender justice,” Perry told the outlet.

He added: “Those misguided and expensive DIE resources could be better spent by reducing tuition instead of feeding new layers of costly administrative bloat that end up getting passed along to students in the form of higher tuition and fees.”

The analysis comes the same week that Florida governor Ron DeSantis appointed six new members to the New College of Florida’s Board of Trustees and tasked the new conservative majority with addressing problems at the New College of Florida, which has increasingly embraced progressive ideological causes, such as expanding DEI initiatives. This despite the school missing its enrollment goal in 2022 by 45 percent.

Among other changes, the appointees intend to dispense with the terms “diversity,” “equity,” and “inclusion” and replace them with “equality,” “merit,” and “colorblindness.”

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