Oklahoma official demands to know ‘every dollar’ public universities spend on DEI
Oklahoma State Superintendent Ryan Walters recently demanded to know 'every dollar' spent on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at state universities.
In his letter to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, Walters requested the past 10 years of DEI spending, program materials, and an overview of staffing.
Oklahoma State Superintendent Ryan Walters recently demanded to know “every dollar” spent on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at state universities.
Walters requested DEI spending from the past 10 years and any DEI-related program materials. “Additionally, I want an overview of your staffing and the colleges underneath your oversight as the Chancellor of Oklahoma Higher Regents within every DEI program or and [sic] expenditures,” he wrote.
Angela Caddell, the State Regents Associate Vice Chancellor for Communications, spoke to Campus Reform about responding to the letter by the February 1 deadline. “We are working with our state system colleges and universities to compile the information requested,” Caddell said.
Walters told KOCO News 5 that his request will help investigate the extent to which colleges and universities provide indoctrination, not education and workforce development.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt appointed Walters as Secretary of Public Education in 2020, and Oklahomans elected him as State Superintendent during the 2022 midterms, according to Tulsa World.
His request comes shortly after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sent a memo to the state’s public colleges and universities asking for DEI and critical race theory (CRT) spending, as Campus Reform reported. A document published by the Independent Florida Alligator, the student newspaper for the University of Florida (UF), revealed that the State University System of Florida (SUSF) spent $28 million on DEI and CRT in just one year.
$15 million of DEI/CRT spending came from taxpayer funds.
At Oklahoma’s public universities, DEI programming the past year included a drag queen story hour hosted for children as young as two at Oklahoma State University (OSU). The OSU Office of Multicultural Affairs, which “offers workshops focused on diversity, inclusion, equity, [and] social justice,” co-hosted the event with the OSU Museum of Art.
Campus Reform reported other Pride Month events at OSU: “Condom Bingo, a pride parade, the Dragonfly Drag Show,” a discussion on gender-neutral restrooms, and a Lavender Graduation, an LGBTQ-specific commencement.
Campus Reform contacted Walters and Gov. Stitt for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.