EXCLUSIVE: UC spends MILLIONS on diversity salaries as Sanders proposes 'free' college

With college affordability back in the national spotlight after Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled a plan earlier this week to eliminate student loan debt and make public college free for all Americans by taxing Wall Street, Campus Reform has analyzed the amount some colleges spend on diversity efforts. So far, in this ongoing series, the analysis has found that the University of California system spends millions of dollars each year on salaries for diversity-focused employees. 

Campus Reform has analyzed the diversity position salaries at individual UC campuses, the most recent being Merced. The Merced campus spends much less on diversity salaries than other UC campuses, as UCLA spends $3.2 million annually and UC-Berkeley spends  $2.3 million annually, according to previous Campus Reform analyses. 

At the University of California, Merced, specifically, diversity-focused employees cost half a million dollars annually, according to 2017 salary records obtained by Campus Reform from the University of California Office of the President.

Campus Reform paired these names and salaries with the names and titles listed on the UC-Merced Diversity webpage which lists the various offices and programs associated with campus diversity initiatives.

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE REPORT: UC-Berkeley spends $2.3 million annually on diversity employee salaries]

In total, of those listed in both the salary data and on the university’s website, Campus Reform found that UC Merced pays diversity-focused employees a combined annual total of at least $553,407 in gross wages. 

Diversity-focused staff included in this analysis, and listed on the diversity webpage, are employed in one of five campus offices: Campus Advocacy, Resources & Education Office of Campus Climate Office of the Ombuds, Undocumented Student Services, Veteran Services,
Chancellor’s Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion (CCCI), Committee for Diversity and Equity Diversity and Equity, Committee Faculty Welfare and Academic Freedom Committee, and the Graduate Dean’s Advisory Council on Diversity. 

The “Social Justice Initiatives” department and “Disability Services” staff were not included in this report as there are no staff clearly listed on any of the associated webpages.

It should be noted that there are other staff members who fulfill diversity-focused roles on a part-time basis but, because they are not full time, their salaries were not included in this report. Several individuals on the various committees listed have full-time roles as professors or administrators of offices and programs that do not fall under diversity initiatives.

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Several employees who are listed as working in one of these teams were not included in the most recently available salary data, which is from 2017. Those eight individuals’ salaries were not included in the final total. 

Students and interns associated with the programs, initiatives, or departments contained in this report were not included in the salary total. 

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