Millions of dollars spent on DEI at Alabama universities, Claremont Institute reports

Two Alabama universities have spent a combined $5 million on their DEI initiatives, the Claremont Institute discovered.

The “DEI lie” needs to stop being “perpetrated,” the Claremont Institute report states.

A new report by the Claremont Institute reveals plans by Auburn University and the University of Alabama (UA) to implement diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives on their campuses. 

The report, “Going Woke In Dixie?: The progress of DEI at the University of Alabama & Auburn University,” was released July 10, shortly after the Supreme Court declared affirmative action unconstitutional in June. 

Combined, both institutions currently spend approximately over $5 million annually on DEI programs and personnel, author of the report and Senior Director of State Coalitions at the Claremont Institute Dr. Scott Yenor revealed.

Yenor told Campus Reform that both schools have “radicalized their programs since the summer of 2020.”

“What was most surprising is that the DEI efforts at Alabama and Auburn focus on the recruitment of black students to their campuses, but since those efforts have accelerated in 2016 and really accelerated in 2020, there are actually fewer blacks at each university,” Yenor said in an email. 

“This failure, well documented, has not in any way led them to reflect on what they are doing. They consider their DEI programming a great success. It shows that this is not about diversity so much as ideological conformity on campus.”

UA unveiled the “Advancing the Flagship” strategic plan in 2016 that emphasizes DEI in recruitment and trainings. This includes “an equity, inclusion and diversity officer that is responsible for the organizational oversight and assessment of plans, programs and activities that enhance equity, inclusion, and diversity,” the plan states.

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UA made additional DEI expansions in its strategic plans in 2020 and 2022, including hiring more staff whose purpose is to advance DEI initiatives, the Claremont Institute report states. UA spent about $2 million on DEI personnel, excluding program costs and stipend payments.

Additional changes include sororities and fraternities being overseen by diversity bureaucrats; athletics being made to show pride in all things LGBTQ+; and task forces to consider renaming buildings and streets and removing monuments around campus, the report states.

Out of the nine UA colleges, six have DEI deans, the report states. However, all nine colleges are contributing to the advancement of UA’s commitment to DEI.

Auburn University developed its modern DEI plan beginning with its 2016 “Climate Study on Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity Final Report.” President Jay Gogue and Provost Timothy Boosinger formed a committee of faculty, staff, students, and alumni in December 2015 to expand the “tent of inclusion,” calibrate “the scales of equity” and embrace “wonderful diversity,” according to that report

Starting in 2018, the Auburn University Strategic Plan: Leading and Shaping the Future of Higher Education “developed” and “implemented” the DEI themes from the Climate Survey to make “long-term university plans.” 

Following the murder of George Floyd in 2020, Auburn used its Presidential Task Force
for Opportunity and Equity to establish recommendations on “DEI education,” “recruitment of minority students, faculty, and staff,” and “the expansion and standardization of ‘evidence-based’ bias education procedures for search committees in all faculty hirings.”

Auburn has accumulated more full-time staff committed to DEI than UA and has an estimated $2 million expense towards DEI employees, the report states.

[RELATED: Conservative Auburn student met with racial slurs in response to his anti-mandate views]

Campus Reform has reached out to all relevant parties for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.