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The Daily Tar Heel

Motion to vote on UNC System DEI policy change approved by BOG committee

20231003_Skvoretz_file-old-well-5.jpg
UNC students sip from the Old Well on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023.

On Wednesday, the UNC Board of Governors Committee on University Governance passed a motion to allow the Board to vote on a new diversity and inclusion policy. 

If passed, the regulation 300.8.5, called the "Regulation on Diversity and Inclusion Within the University of North Carolina," would be repealed and replaced with a policy named, "Equality Within the University of North Carolina."

This policy could repeal current institutional roles and responsibilities of diversity and inclusion officers outlined in the system's existing policy.

Among reaffirming the system's institutional neutrality policy, chancellors across the system would be required to verify compliance with the new policy by Sept. 1 of each year. This would include a report on reductions in spending, changes to job titles and position descriptions as well as how money saved will be redirected to student wellbeing initiatives. 

Two jobs at each of the system's 17 institutions and one job at the UNC System office may be risk of being eliminated if the policy passes. The system's existing policy requires institutions to employ diversity and inclusion officers dedicated to furthering goals.

The proposed policy, however, appears to repeal these requirements and other policies, including those that state students must be informed about diversity and inclusion policies and programs at new student orientation. Faculty and staff are also required to have DEI information included in their new-hire onboarding. 

Under the proposed policy, student-led University organizations may still receive and use student activity funding unless their expression of speech violates Section VII of the policy, referring to institutional neutrality.

The proposed policy also includes exceptions for student-led organizations that receive fee funding from their respective institutions. 

This change is the latest update of the UNC System's UNC Policy Manual Project, which reviews and updates the System policy manual.

The proposed policy will be placed on the consent agenda for the BOG's full board to vote on in May. Items placed on the consent agenda do not have to be deliberated upon before the vote.

This motion follows nationwide debate and policy change surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in higher education across the country. Last year, the University of Florida closed its Office of the Chief Diversity Officer after a bill signed by Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis halted the use of state funds for DEI programs. 

@l_rhodsie | @ashnqm

@dailytarheel | university@dailytarheel.com

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Lauren Rhodes

Lauren Rhodes is the 2024 university editor at The Daily Tar Heel. She has previously served as an assistant editor and senior writer for the university desk. Lauren is a sophomore pursuing a double major in media and journalism and political science with a minor in politics, philosophy and economics. 


Ashley Quincin

Ashley Quincin is a 2023-24 assistant university desk editor at The Daily Tar Heel. She has previously served as a university staff writer. Ashley is a senior pursuing a degree in English and comparative literature, with a double minor in media and journalism and composition, rhetoric and digital literacy.

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