As we all know, throwing money at a problem doesn’t always solve it.
Case in point: the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s work toward diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
As reported by The College Fix, over the past six years, UW-Madison has spent millions of dollars on DEI staff positions and programs.
The College Fix has filed a public records request to determine how much the state’s flagship university has spent toward diversity improvement since 2016, including faculty, scholarships and grants, speakers, events and recruitment. …
[A]n estimate places such expenses at millions of dollars over the last half-dozen years as the university worked to improve diversity, equity and inclusion on campus.
A few known expenditures:
- $510,000: For construction of Divine Nine Garden Plaza, in tribute to black Greek life (partly funded by donations)
- $55,000: To 1619 Project creator Nikole Hannah-Jones, for one speech on Martin Luther King Day
- $50,000: To relocate a boulder because a 1920 reporter called it a racial slur
- Undisclosed Amount: For a “Welcome BBQ” hosting all people who weren’t white
- Undisclosed Amount: For a presentation called “Understanding And Minimizing The Role Of Implicit Bias In Microaggressions”
- Undisclosed Amount: For a march supporting “Latinx Culture”
- Undisclosed Amount: To hire nine new mental health providers; three would join eight already in position to only serve students who aren’t white
- $12,750: To White Fragility author Robin DiAngelo, for one speech and a Q&A
- Undisclosed Amount: To change the “W” on athletic uniforms from white to black, in a show of “solidarity”
- Undisclosed Amount: To provide menstrual products in women’s and men’s restrooms
- Undisclosed Amount: Various staff “diversity” and “antiracism” training
- $25,000: Black Student Union budget
Here’s the Fix with more:
UW-Madison…currently employs eight leaders in its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion division: a deputy vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, senior operations officer, deputy Title IX coordinator, assistant vice provost for strategic diversity, equity and inclusion administration, financial administration director, senior director of external relations, director of development, and a director of strategic diversity planning and research.
Public records show their base salaries total roughly three-quarters of a million dollars each year, and that does not include their fringe benefits, such as health insurance or other perks. Additionally, a keyword search in the UW-Madison public salary database for “diversity” and “equity” turned up dozens of results.
So how’s all that spending
woked worked out?
A recent Campus Climate Survey asked students whether they feel “welcome, respected, and safe.” Results reveal the following:
The gap in reported perceptions between these students and other students did not change between 2016 and 2021.
The way outgoing Chancellor Rebecca Blank sees it, the lack of improvement only proves whiteness goes devilishly deep.
“It’s clear that there do remain gaps between more marginalized groups and their degree of satisfaction and their sense of belonging and comfort on this campus.”
Even if it isn’t helping, don’t worry — it’s helping:
“I think we’ve done a number of things that have helped move the university forward, but as others have noted, we are a predominantly white institution in a predominantly white state, and this is work that is going to be ongoing for a long time.”
That’s certainly one interpretation. Another might be that DEI offers a message that’s anything but optimistic.
So far as I understand, its ideas are as follows:
- Nonwhite people’s lives are awful, because white people hate them and have created a system that will not let nonwhites succeed.
- White people’s lives are awful, because they hate nonwhites and have created a system that will not let nonwhites succeed.
That may not be a Fast Pass to betterment. As the ideology spreads, so does misery.
Morgan Freeman famously said the best way to end racism is to “stop talking about it.” Since UW-Madison’s method has miscarried, might they try Morgan’s?
It’s unlikely, but it sure would be cheaper.
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