The Corner

Politics & Policy

What’s the Most Useless of All University Spending?

I’d argue that it’s the money they spend for outside “diversity training.”  This ridiculous fad (which isn’t unique to higher education — you find it thriving in K-12 schools and business too) consumes lots of money to no purpose other than allowing leaders to think they’ve done something for social justice.

In today’s Martin Center article, Anthony Hennen looks at the spending on diversity training in the UNC system. Many of the universities have fallen for it, with NC State leading the field. Officials recently signed a contract with a vendor for student “training” until 2022, at a cost of $114,000.

What the universities get for all this money is a boiling kettle of the usual diversity stuff: microaggressions, institutional racism, the inequities in our economy, and so on. And this isn’t open for discussion. As one company official told Hennen, “We don’t come here to debate.” It’s leftist indoctrination straight up.

Moreover, the content of this “training” is not open to the public, although it ought to be. Taxpayers have the right to know what their money is being spent on, but at this point cannot evaluate these “diversity training” materials.

Moreover, there is no evidence that this kind of training has any effect. Evidently, university leaders just take the word of the companies that it “works” to make everyone feel more sensitive and inclusive.

Hennen concludes, “Students might embrace the new moral vocabulary on campus and its political demands, but they also know when colleges are simply checking a box. University faculty have shown that they can criticize and pick apart bad research on many topics. It’s time that diversity initiatives receive the same treatment.”

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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