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

Each year, colleges spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, some even millions, in an effort to foster more diverse campuses. Universities allocate funds for diversity centers, peer groups, and inclusivity measures all designed to make non-traditional and minority students feel more welcome. What is unknown, however, is whether or not these pricey diversity efforts actually pay off.

At UC Berkeley, diversity-focused employees cost over 2.3 million dollars annually, according to 2017 salary records obtained by Campus Reform from the University of California Office of the President.

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Campus Reform paired these names and salaries with the names and titles on the web pages for multiple Berkeley campus offices, like the Gender Equity Center. In total, of those listed in both the salary data and on the university’s website, Campus Reform found that Berkeley pays diversity-focused employees a combined annual total of at least $2,323,378 in gross wages. 

Diversity-focused staff included in this analysis are employed in one of five campus offices: the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion, Campus Climate Community Engagement & Transformation Office, Office for Graduate Diversity, Gender Equity Center, and the Social Sciences Graduate Diversity Office.

Eight employees who are listed as working in one of these five offices 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. 

To identify these five offices, Campus Reform conducted a keyword search on Berkeley’s website using the terms “diversity,” “equity,” and “inclusion.” Of the multiple offices that appeared in these search results, only employees from those offices whose clear, primary purpose is to contribute to campus “diversity,” “equity,” or “inclusion,” were counted in the final tally.

Dan Mogulof, assistant vice provost of public affairs at Berkeley, told Campus Reform on Thursday that the $2.3 million per year amount “doesn’t seem to align with ‘large.’”

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“This University has an annual operating budget of $2.3 billion, meaning that $2.3m [sic] is less than one-tenth of one percent of our funding allocations,” Mogulof said. Mogulof also noted that diversity, equity, and inclusion funding includes efforts to “support the needs of members of our disabled community and military veterans. Just two examples of how we back up our belief that different individuals need different forms of support and services to thrive and excel here, and that’s exactly what this spending is for.”

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