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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday to reallocate $2.3 million that was planned to fund diversity, equity and inclusion programming next fiscal year to instead fund university police, a board member said.

Dave Boliek, chair of the board’s budget and finance committee, told Inside Higher Ed that the $2.3 million represents all the state dollars that he was confident would’ve been allocated toward DEI in the upcoming budget, which starts July 1. He said he didn’t know how many employees will be laid off as a result.

“The initial idea of DEI has been expanded to a cultural indoctrination that is divisive,” Boliek said. “And I have not observed any return on investment to the citizens and to the university community, and so it’s time to move on.”

Boliek said he didn’t know what the university police will do with the money, but he said two situations show they need more: the fatal shooting of a faculty member this past August, allegedly by a graduate student, and a pro-Palestinian encampment that police cleared on April 30.

He said the university had to call for outside officers to help break up the encampment and that some agencies didn’t respond. The university needs to be “self-sufficient” when it comes to providing “law and order,” he said. “They were destroying the lawn, creating unsanitary conditions, defacing public property and threatening violence against Jewish students,” Boliek said of the protesters.

The Raleigh News & Observer, which reported earlier on the DEI defunding, noted that the Board of Governors that leads the larger UNC system is voting next week on restricting DEI statewide. The newspaper reported that, in the 2021–22 fiscal year, half of the $2.3 million in Chapel Hill’s DEI budget was spent on personnel, “with positions ranging from a chief diversity officer, to the director of the campus LGBTQ center, to the director of rural initiatives at the university’s School of Medicine, among others.”

Beth Moracco, chair of the faculty at Chapel Hill, said she was surprised to hear that the Board of Trustees was having a special meeting Monday and that DEI funding was on the agenda—given that the system Board of Governors is taking up DEI next week and, even after that, is expected to issue guidance on implementing their decision.

“This seemed premature to me and really pretty startling to be honest,” Moracco said. She said she has yet to hear from members of either board “what evidence they have that these efforts are harmful.” And, after listening to Monday’s meeting, she said “it wasn’t clear that there had been a request for increased funding by the department of public safety.”

University spokespeople didn’t respond to requests for comment Monday.