Over 500 DEI Jobs at University of Michigan Create $30 Million Boondoggle

Evan Poellinger | January 17, 2024
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The University of Michigan is spending in excess of $30 million on more than 500 positions focused on diversity, equity, and inclusions (DEI), with 13 staff making more than $200,000 and 66 staff members making over $100,000 when including benefits, respectively.

An analysis by The College Fix found 241 jobs devoted exclusively to DEI, and more than 500 overall. It delineates the costs associated with Michigan’s DEI jobs, including $23.24 million set aside for employee salaries with an additional $7.44 million allotted for employee benefits. Yet, even this represents only a fraction of the total positions at Michigan with a focus on DEI, which amounts to over 500 positions when including vacant positions and DEI committees within various university departments and schools at the university.

These figures are even more striking, considering the already substantial previous allotments made for DEI positions. The National Review reported in 2023 that Michigan planned to spend $18 million on salaries for 142 DEI positions over the course of the academic year.

The College Fix attributed the increase in funding to a new diversity initiative propagated by the university, known as the DEI 2.0 plan. The plan calls for promoting “an ever-more-diverse student, faculty and staff community” along with equity-focused policies and incorporation of DEI ideology into the university’s educational programs and research.

The University of Michigan had previously initiated a DEI 1.0 plan from 2016 to 2021, which apparently produced dismal results. Collegiate Network Fellow for the Washington Free Beacon Charles Hilu, who served as Editor-in-Chief of the university’s Collegiate Network publication the Michigan Review, described in a January 2023 article that “the student body as a whole experiences campus in a worse way than it did in 2016.”

The results of a pair of campus climate surveys conducted by the university in 2016 and 2021 revealed that “the number of students who interacted with people of different political persuasions decreased by more than 11 percent, of different religious beliefs by over 9 percent, of a different national origin by 5 percent, and of different races by more than 3 percent.”

By every metric, DEI policies have failed the University of Michigan. Yet, instead of introspection, the university seems to be doubling down and expanding its policies further.