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Waste of the Day: University of North Carolina System Has Nearly 700 Employees Under Its DEI Rubric



North Carolina coastline, satellite view, over Cape Hatteras

Topline: The University of North Carolina spends an estimated $90 million each year on 686 employees who in one way or another push diversity, equity and inclusion into their departments or across the system at large, according to an analysis from

University of North Carolina doubles down on DEI

Key facts: The UNC public school system’s 16 campuses house 30 DEI-centric groups and 300 departments that employ people with some sort of DEI focus.

UNC’s payroll records show only 288 employees working in DEI roles out of 50,000, but OpenTheBooks’ auditors found another 398 members of DEI committees listed across several UNC websites. There’s another 80 students with similar roles, though most are volunteers.

The full database can be viewed here.

Waste of the Day: University of North Carolina has 700 DEI staff
Waste of the Day 6.10.24 by Open the Books

The highest-paid employee working exclusively in a DEI role was UNC-Chapel Hill Chief Diversity Officer Leah Cox, who made $412,800 including estimated benefits.

Others are earning far more while taking on DEI responsibilities as a secondary role. Moe Lim earns an estimated $858,000 as a professor of spine orthopedics at UNC Chapel Hill, but he’s also part of the School of Medicine’s Office of Inclusive Excellence and Community Engagement.


A full count of every DEI employee is almost impossible because the ideology has been weaved into dozens of other university departments. North Carolina A&T has over 200 “diversity enhanced course offerings.” UNC-Pembroke makes “inclusive education” the core curriculum of its education degrees.


Background: Change will soon be coming to the UNC system. In a repudiation of DEI ideology, the UNC Board of Governors voted on May 23 to repeal its diversity policy.

President Peter Hans says the school will now remain neutral on “political controversies.”

The Associated Press reports that the school will aim to discontinue DEI positions without cutting jobs, and that funding meant for DEI departments will go toward “student success initiatives.”

UNC received over 250 responses to an online form asking for feedback on its DEI policy; only 13 people supported keeping the department intact, according to the Associated Press.


UNC joins public universities in Texas, Florida, Utah and more in banning DEI. But those decisions came from state governments, not from the colleges themselves.

Summary: UNC won’t recoup the $90 million it spent each year on DEI, but the school now has an opportunity to put that money to better use.

The #WasteOfTheDay is brought to you by the forensic auditors at

This article was originally published by RealClearInvestigations and made available via RealClearWire.

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Adam Andrzejewski (say: Angie-eff-ski) is the CEO/founder of Before dedicating his life to public service, Adam co-founded HomePages Directories, a $20 million publishing company (1997-2007). His works have been featured on the BBC, Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, C-SPAN, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, FOX News, CNN, National Public Radio (NPR), Forbes, Newsweek, and many other national media.

Today, is the largest private repository of U.S. public-sector spending. Mission: post "every dime, online, in real time." In 2022, captured nearly all public expenditures in the country, including nearly all disclosed federal government spending; 50 of 50 state checkbooks; and 25 million public employee salary and pension records from 50,000 public bodies across America.

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In 2022, Andrzejewski did 473 live television and radio interviews across broadcast, major cable platforms, and radio shows. Andrzejewski is the author of The Waste of the Day column at Real Clear Policy. The column is syndicated by Sinclair Broadcast Group, owners of nearly 200 ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX affiliates across USA.

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