BU says it found no financial issues with Kendi's 'antiracism' center, but 'culture' investigation still pending

The university still plans to investigate the center's culture and management of grants.

Boston University (BU) has stated that an internal audit of Ibram X. Kendi’s Center for Antiracist Research (CAR) has “found no issues” with the financial management of the center despite earlier reports of the center’s high layoffs and mismanagement.

The internal audit into CAR “[shows] that its expenditures were appropriately charged to its grant and gift accounts.” However, an investigation into whether CAR followed the necessary grant-reporting procedures is still yet to be completed, as is an investigation into the center’s “operating climate and culture.”

Gloria Waters, BU’s Vice President and Associate Provost for Research, will conduct the investigation into whether CAR reported grants appropriately. 

Waters’ website lists her as “[having] responsibility for BU’s research enterprise, representing the University to key stakeholders in government, industry and foundations and leading the development and implementation of effective policies and procedures to streamline and manage research.”

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Korn Ferry, a management consulting firm, will be investigating the culture of the center. Maureen O’Rourke, BU’s assistant provost for faculty affairs, states that Korn Ferry’s “input will help the theme identify any consistent themes and possible areas of improvement.”

Campus Reform has previously reported on Kendi and CAR, including the launch of the investigation after reports of mismanagement. “[CAR] was just being mismanaged on a really fundamental level,” one former employee was reported as saying.

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Kendi would later go on to dismiss criticism of CAR as racist.

“Not everyone wants to build an antiracist society; that is clear. I have been disappointed in journalists who report criticisms of a Black leader without asking for evidence to substantiate those allegations. Racist ideas about a corrupt Black leader running a dysfunctional or toxic organization are so ingrained that reporters don’t feel the need for evidence,” Kendi said.

“When explaining turnover rates of white-led organizations, people inside and outside the organization usually point to larger structural factors,” Kendi continued. “When explaining turnover rates of Black-led organizations, people inside and outside the organization usually point to bad leadership.”

It is worth noting that most of Kendi’s layoffs were minorities. As The College Fix reported, CAR allegedly laid off nearly 60% more minorities than White individuals. Seven of the individuals laid off were White, while twelve minority individuals - four of them Black, four of them Latino, three of them Asian, and one of them Middle Eastern - were laid off. 

Campus Reform has reached out to Boston University, Kendi, Waters, O’Rourke, and Korn Ferry for comment and will update the story accordingly.