Report shows UMich spent $100k on DEI Summit, including almost $2,000 on espresso machine

The report found that the UMich annual 'DEI Summit' in October cost the university roughly $100,000 to host.

A new report found that it cost the University of Michigan approximately $100,000 to host its annual “DEI Summit” to celebrate diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at the school this October. 

The June 7 story by the College Fix has shown that Michigan spent $100,000 on the event, including around $60,000 on speakers and around $32,000 on equipment and food (among other things)--including $550 for a cotton candy vendor and $1,750 going towards a mobile espresso cart.

Documents show that UMich also spent $5,000 to bring in André Douglas Pond Cummings, a professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, as a speaker. Professor Cummings, who spells his name in all lowercase letters, alleges he has much experience with “racial and social justice,” according to his university biography

“This year’s annual DEI Summit will celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop and highlight its intersection with critical race theory, celebrating and exploring the power of storytelling as a driving force for social change,” Intermediate Public Affairs Representative Hanna Quinlan wrote last October.

The summit was entitled “Truth Telling: The Kinship of Critical Race Theory and Hip-Hop,” and featured, among other things, “a roundtable discussion with hip-hop artists and critical race theory experts, and will feature multiple performances.”

[RELATED: University of Michigan regent floats possibility of ending ‘concerning’ mandatory DEI statements in hiring]

“Diversity, equity and inclusion are core values at the University of Michigan,” university spokesperson Colleen Mastony told Campus Reform in a statement. “The university’s DEI efforts are far-reaching in ways appropriate to the size, scope, and complexity of our university - spanning across 51 units of the university and serving functions that support our over 50,000 students and over 50,000 employees.”

Michigan has hosted a DEI summit every year since 2016, according to its website. In 2023, the school launched its “DEI 2.0” initiative. 

“At the University of Michigan, our dedication to academic excellence for the public good is inseparable from our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion,” the institution writes.

“A priority is inviting impactful speakers — representing diverse backgrounds and perspectives — who can share expertise and lived experiences that help educate, stimulate our thinking and reflection, and inspire action,” Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer Tabbye Chavous wrote of this past year’s celebration. “I am incredibly proud to mark the launch of our DEI 2.0 Strategic Plan with this year’s community assembly theme.”

[RELATED: UMich ‘doubling down’ on DEI with latest campus-wide initiative]

However, not all administrators at Michigan appear to support the current DEI regime in place.

Sarah Hubbard, a university regent, expressed concern over some aspects of DEI on X in response to a Washington Post article opposing mandatory DEI statements. 

“I’m looking into this @umich. Very concerning when we’re actively working to support diversity of thought on our campus,” Hubbard wrote on May 19. “Diversity is a laudable goal but stifling others [sic] opinions to get there is troubling.”