UNC BOG takes step toward repealing DEI policy

The full Board of Governors will consider the change in May

UNC System

RALEIGH — During its April 17 meeting, the UNC Board of Governors Committee on Governance unanimously voted to repeal its diversity, equity and inclusion policies for the entire UNC System.

The new superseding policy emphasizes the university’s commitment to equality, nondiscrimination, institutional neutrality, and the protection of freedom of speech and academic freedom while at the same time ensuring compliance with federal and state laws regarding discrimination and harassment.

“The University shall continue to ensure that diverse persons of any background, from North Carolina and beyond, are invited, included, and treated equally,” the policy proposal reads in part. “Diversity means the ways in which individuals vary, including, but not limited to, backgrounds, beliefs, viewpoints, abilities, cultures, and traditions that distinguish one individual from another.”

The new policy would prohibit discrimination in employment practices and educational programs, and maintain institutional neutrality on political and social issues. The policy also seeks to uphold the principles of treating individuals with “dignity” and “respect.”

Under the revision, student-led organizations are allowed certain exceptions regarding freedom of expression.

Additionally, the policy requires annual certification of compliance from each constituent institution and outlines reporting requirements.

The policy change would be effective immediately upon adoption by the full UNC Board of Governors, which will consider the committee’s policy change proposal at its upcoming May meeting.

Preparing for possible legislative action on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) was previously brought up at the UNC Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting held on March 27.

The topic was raised by UNC Trustee Jim Blaine, the former senior adviser to Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Eden), who said it’s “an elephant in the room” that either the UNC Board of Governors or the General Assembly will “follow Florida’s path” dismantling DEI bureaucracies on college campuses.

“I actually think that’s the right decision,” Blaine said. “DEI creates and exacerbates problems on a college campus, it doesn’t solve them.”

BOT discussion on the topic noted the millions of dollars channeled into staffing and administrative positions like “chief diversity officers,” who integrate DEI concepts — which, at times, include components of Critical Race Theory — into every aspect of university life, from curricula to campus culture.

Critical Race Theory (CRT) concepts include ideas like inherent racial superiority, inherent racism based on race or sex, and the assignment of particular traits, victimhood status or values based on race or sex.

About A.P. Dillon 1287 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_