University of Michigan’s diversity programs will cost taxpayers $18M this year

(The Center Square) – In a tweet posted last week, American Enterprise Institute Economist Mark J. Perry said the current annual taxpayer expense for the University of Michigan’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is more than $18.1 million.

The payroll covers 142 jobs currently within the DEI department, with a cumulative salary of $13.7 million and 32% additional costs – roughly $4.4 million – for other benefits. During the 2018 and 2019 academic years, the department employed 82 staffers with combined salaries of $10.6 million; those figures rose in the last academic year to 126 and $15.6 million, respectively.

That’s 53% more staff over the 2018 level.

Perry’s analysis of public data was posted on the social media channel last week. Perry told the Daily Caller, a right-leaning news and opinion website, the total amount of DEI salaries could pay 100% of in-state tuition for 1,075 undergraduate students.

The Center Square reached out to the university’s Office of Public Affairs and to the DEI office. An email was returned with a link to salaries of UM employees.

Perry’s numbers on staffing and salaries match what the university sent The Center Square. The university provides a tuition planner on its website from its financial aid office; for 2022-23, it ranges from $33,555 for in-state first and second-year students to $76,031 for out-of-state third- and fourth-year students.

“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 Daily Caller. “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.”

Topping the salary list at $380,000 annually is Vice Provost Tabbye Chaout Sellars. Seventeen DEI employees earn $200,000 or more annually, and another 95 DEI employees earn more than $100,000 a year.

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