DeSantis Takes On The Academy
Print Friendly and PDF

The year 2023 will be an exciting year for the University of Michigan. October this year will see the launch of the university’s second Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Five-Year Strategic Plan, known around campus as DEI 2.0.

The academic year we are currently in, 2022-23, will be devoted to, according to a U. Mich. website, a “year-long evaluation process in which central and unit-level content and actions from DEI 1.0 will be thoroughly assessed.”

As I said, exciting stuff, and this will be a busy year for the U. Mich. diversicrats. Mind you, there are enough of them to carry the burden: 126 of them when I reported on this last September, with a total salary tab of $15.6 million. That’s for a public university with 31,000 undergraduates.

If you do the division there, that’s a DEI cost of over $500 per undergraduate. That’s going by last September’s numbers, though. For the big push this year to, quote, ”thoroughly assess,” the ”central and unit-level content and actions from DEI 1.0,” ready for the launch of DEI 2.0, more help may be needed, raising the DEI headcount and salary total.

But, hey, what does it matter? What’s more important to the life of a university than Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion? Not teaching, for sure. College teaching assistants in the U.S.A. typically make around $20,000 a year; nobody on the list of Michigan University’s DEI staff makes less than $40,000.

Robert Sellers, the Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion, makes over $430,000.

The University of Michigan is as bad as it gets, but it’s bad all over. An American college is now basically a huge administrative bureaucracy with some classrooms and a football team attached, and the biggest office complex in that bureaucracy belongs to the DEI staff.

So it gladdens the heart to see someone in a position of political power pushing back against this monstrous growth.

New College of Florida is a small public liberal arts college in Sarasota—very small: around 700 students. It’s public, though, so the state Governor, Ron DeSantis, with his legislature’s approval, has authority over it.

He has just exercised that authority by appointing six new members to the college’s 13-member Board of Governors [DeSantis Appoints People to Overhaul ‘Equity’ Ideology at New College of Florida, by Lydia Nusbaum, Florida’s Voice, January 6, 2023]. All six are conservative activists, including Chris Rufo of the Manhattan Institute and Charles Kesler from the Claremont Review of Books. The Florida Board of Governors will appoint a seventh member.

The Governor told the Daily Caller that:

It is our hope that New College of Florida will become Florida’s classical college, more along the lines of a Hillsdale of the South. 

In line with that the new Board appointees intend to dispense with the terms ”diversity,” ”equity,” and ”inclusion” and replace them with ”equality,” ”merit,” and ”colorblindness.” So no more DEI; now it’ll be EMC.

At the Washington Post, education pundit Valerie Strauss is not happy:

It would be nice to think that some of this common sense might percolate over to Michigan, but I’m not holding my breath for that. Still, baby steps, baby steps. It’s good to see pushback against the DEI racket; and it’s good to see more evidence that Ron DeSantis may be the guy we need in the White House if our republic is to be pulled out of its current nosedive into lunacy and authoritarianism.


Print Friendly and PDF