Policy change at North Carolina university system could cut diversity staff

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The future of diversity, equity and inclusion staff jobs in North Carolina’s public university system could be at stake after a five-person committee swiftly voted to repeal a key policy Wednesday.

The Committee on University Governance, within the University of North Carolina Board of Governors that oversees 17 schools, voted in less than four minutes to reverse and replace a policy related to DEI. The full board of 24 members is to vote on the matter again next month, and if approved, the repeal would take effect immediately.

If the policy is fully repealed, the UNC system could join other major universities in dismantling their diversity offices. Among the most notable, the University of Florida in Gainesville announced in a memo last month that it was scrapping its office and shifting its funding for faculty recruitment instead.

In Texas, universities saw major cuts in their diversity and inclusion staff in 2024 in compliance with a state ban signed into law last year. The state higher education board in Kansas was also to address a ban on diversity initiatives in hiring staff and accepting students Wednesday.