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Another state reveals its colleges, universities spent millions on diversity, equity and inclusion

by

Daily Caller News Foundation

  • South Carolina colleges and universities spent $8.3 million on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs in one year, according to The State.
  • South Carolina legislators requested the spending reports after similar requests were made by Florida and Oklahoma officials to determine the total spending allotted in their respective states.
  • “Oklahoma’s elected me … so I take it very seriously that Oklahomans, if they wanted somebody else’s values they would have voted for my Democratic opponent,” Republican Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “So I have to put my values on these boards and commissions, and then I expect them to vote and push these things.”

Public colleges and universities in South Carolina spent a combined total of $8.3 million on programming related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) during a one-year period, The State reported.

South Carolina lawmakers requested information in February about how much higher education institutions spent to fund DEI initiatives on campus. The report, which was obtained by The State, a South Carolina-based media outlet, and detailed the total cost spent at each institution broken down by salaries, operations and trainings.

Clemson University spent the most among the 13 four-year institutions at approximately $2.5 million, according to the report. The total amount spent at the four two-year regional campuses were unknown, and Horry-Georgetown Technical College topped technical school and community college spending by reported $249,758.

The University of South Carolina at Columbia and Medical University of South Carolina also reported spending millions at $1,723,412 and $1,213,566, respectively, according to The State.

The legislators’ request defined DEI as “attempts to take an official institutional policy on concepts such as unconscious or implicit bias, cultural appropriation, and microaggressions.” South Carolina was the third state to demand higher education officials submit a report detailing their DEI spending, following in the footsteps of Oklahoma and Florida.

Both reports revealed that higher education institutions allocated millions of dollars to fund DEI programs. Oklahoma colleges and universities spent approximately $83 million over a ten-year period and $10 during the past fiscal year, while Florida institutions recorded $28 million spent with $15 coming from taxpayers.

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration alleged that the Florida schools “under-reported” or “misreported” the total amount that was spent. Bryan Griffin, DeSantis’ press secretary, previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the amount “revealed an extraordinary misuse of taxpayer dollars to promote a political agenda at the expense of academic focus.”

“Undoubtedly, these bureaucracies are more interested in protecting their status quo and furthering their agenda rather than delivering a quality education to Florida’s students,” Griffin wrote. “Consequently, the Executive Office of the Governor is working to ensure that a full and truthful compilation of CRT- and DEI-related spending is gathered, and these efforts are ongoing.”

DeSantis promised during a January press conference to defund DEI programs from state-funded universities. The promise was one of several reforms he pledged to make and described DEI as acting as “ideological” or “political filters.”

Republican Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt told the DCNF on Monday that he “would like” to defund DEI on college campuses but that the decision lies with the legislature.

“The other thing that I get to do is I get to put board members on all different higher ed boards, so part of my conversation with them is ‘hey, let’s make sure that we represent Oklahoma values,” he said. “Oklahoma’s elected me … so I take it very seriously that Oklahomans, if they wanted somebody else’s values they would have voted for my Democratic opponent. So I have to put my values on these boards and commissions, and then I expect them to vote and push these things.”

Clemson University, Horry-Georgetown Technical College, University of South Carolina at Columbia and Medical University of South Carolina did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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