UCLA's Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: How Much Money is Funding it, and What Does it Actually Do? -Part 3

UCLA's Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: How Much Money is Funding it, and What Does it Actually Do? -Part 3

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Ian Robert Henderson, Foreign Policy Contributor/Outreach Co-Chair

In light of the recent UC audit revealing excessive salaries to its employees, I conducted a thorough research investigation on UCLA’s Office of Equity Diversity and Inclusion. In this three-part expose of UCLA’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, I will go through the various facets of the university’s attempts to instill their political agenda throughout the campus and even into the personal lives of students. The shocking amount of money allocated to the office, as well as how much of that money could be used for programs that actually assist students.

In part one of my series, I discussed the various cases in which the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion participated in controversial actions in order to implement biased policies on individuals in high profile cases involving the UCLA community. In part 2 of the series, I went through the budget of this office and how its money is allocated. These numbers were provided to me by the university’s Academic Planning and Budget Office. After weeks of trying to avoid providing me the information, the budget office finally emailed me a short list of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion’s annual budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. In Part three, I will discuss whether the funds for the diversity office have helped or hindered the university experience at UCLA, as well as what other ways the money could be allocated.

In regard to the university's funding of this program, the remaining question is have there been actual positive results of the funding of the diversity office? Or is this just another scheme by these institutions to intimidate and indoctrinate the student body into following their political agenda while simultaneously lining the pockets of their enormous staff? In comparison to Berkeley, UCLA's Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is relatively new. However, it will likely move in the direction of Berkeley's Division of Equity and Inclusion by expanding its staff and budget in an effort to justify its continued existence of chasing phantom racism, sexism and homophobia, which is virtually non-existent on campus.

We can see by the numbers that the excessive amount of money provided to the Diversity Office could easily be used to fund dozens of other programs through the school. One example would be new scholarship programs specifically geared towards lower income students. According to Yale's admission website, their average scholarship grant is $43,989 per year. Yale, being one of the most prestigious and expensive universities in the country offers this amount to cover tuition and board, which is roughly 64% of the $68,175 total yearly cost of attendance. UCLA in comparison had a total yearly average attendance cost of $34,191 in 2017-2018 year (UCLA Admissions). That being said, the $4,325,625 budget for the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion could have been used to fund 98 scholarships of the equivalent amount to that of Yale's average scholarship, with nearly $10,000 still being left over for each student. If this same method was applied to the UCLA average attendance cost, the university could fund 126 full ride scholarships every year. If one were to combine both the UC Berkeley and the UCLA diversity office's budgets, a total of roughly $24 million, both schools could fund a total of 715 scholarships per year with the average cost of attendance at both schools being $34,000 (Berkeley Financial Aid/UCLA Admissions). This is assuming the budgets don't increase, which is unlikely to happen, as we can be assured that the budgets of both diversity offices will grow overtime.The gap between the two budgets will likely close, and not with the Berkeley office budget shrinking.

Just looking at scholarships alone, we can see that the money allocated towards the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion can be used to fund programs that can better help students in their academic endeavors. Instead, the university continues to spend millions of dollars on a program that has little evidence of creating a positive impact on campus. The diversity office rather pursues the political agenda of the university by conducting investigations of phantom discrimination. It does so by utilizing only 9% of its allocated budget for its stated activities while lining the pockets of its staff with 45% of the budget. The remaining 46% is not being utilized at all, which should lead one to question the university's competence in its oversight of the use of tax money and tuition.

As the price of tuition continues to increase, making it more difficult for students to attend universities, it is clear that programs like the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion are a major contributing factor in that rise. So, while Vice Chancellor Jerry Kang and many within his office are making six figures and enjoying their lavish, cushy lifestyles while pretending to contribute to the betterment of the UCLA community, the average student struggles as tuition steadily rises. This type of budgeting behavior is most certainly not unique to the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion as other departments within the university are surely overfunded with millions of dollars that drive the cost of tuition up. The unfortunate reality is that UCLA and the UC system are not alone in this type of seemingly limitless budget allocation at the expense of students and taxpayers. Colleges and universities across the country are committing this same type of heinous behavior in the name of “social justice.” How many low income students could we put through universities to give them a better chance at life with a top notch education if we were to cut these wasteful programs? How many scientific research grants could be funded with university funds that could actually benefit society? How much maintenance could be conducted to improve the quality of the university's facilities?  We will likely never know, unless we hold universities accountable for the use of funds that are meant to educate students.

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UCLA's Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: How Much Money is Funding it, and What Does it Actually Do? -Part 2

UCLA's Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: How Much Money is Funding it, and What Does it Actually Do? -Part 2