James Paul and I have a new study for the Heritage Foundation. It counts the number of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) staff at 65 universities in the Power 5 conferences. We examine university web sites to find all of the people listed as having responsibility for promoting DEI goals. This is a very conservative count as we may not capture every relevant web site, not all personnel may be listed on those sites, we exclude all Title IX and other legal compliance staff, we exclude faculty in ethnic and gender studies departments, and we do not count all of the other deans, assistant deans, directors of housing, RAs, etc… who also promote DEI goals without having that listed in their titles.
We find that the average university we examine has 45 DEI personnel. The University of Michigan has 163. To put the number of DEI staff in perspective, we compared it to other staffing priorities at universities, like ADA compliance staff or history professors. The average university had more than 4 times as many DEI staff as ADA compliance staff and 40% more DEI staff than history professors. DEI personnel is a very large commitment of resources by universities, especially compared to other staffing priorities.
Lastly, we examined campus climate survey results to see if universities with large DEI staff looked like they had more inclusive and welcoming environments than those with smaller staffs. While the evidence we could examine was limited, it appears that having more DEI staff did not contribute to a better campus climate. If anything, it may have made it worse.
You can see all of the results in this handy data visualization. There is also a nice news piece on the study on the Fox news web site.
If we had more history professors, we might realize the reason why having more DEI staff might not improve DEI.
Then again, we might not!