South Carolina next in line to investigate DEI spending
Following the lead of Florida and Oklahoma, SC legislators are now requesting that the state’s public universities report the amount of state funds directed towards DEI initiatives.
Legislators are seeking information on 'all spending on programs, trainings, and activities targeted toward people based on their race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.'
Following the lead of Florida and Oklahoma, South Carolina legislators are now requesting that the state’s 33 public colleges and universities report the amount of state funds directed towards diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.
The request was first made public in a Feb. 8 report from The Chronicle of Higher Education, revealing that legislators are seeking information on “all spending on programs, trainings, and activities targeted toward people based on their race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.”
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The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (CHE) acknowledged the receipt of this request when contacted by Campus Reform.
Strategic Communications Manager Mark Swart provided the following statement:
We received the request for information regarding public institutions’ diversity, equity, and inclusion expenditures last week via email from the SC House of Representatives. The request did not come to us from an individual legislator or committee.
We receive requests for information about our public institutions of higher education from legislators and staff throughout the year, and we have reached out to our IHLs for the information so that we can fulfill this request in a timely manner.
The deadline for institutions to respond to the request is February 23, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
South Carolina Speaker of the House G. Murrell Smith, Jr., and Governor Henry McMaster’s Office declined Campus Reform’s request for comment.
Last month, Governor Ron DeSantis requested information on DEI spending from all Florida institutions. A report was subsequently published revealing that the State University System of Florida spent over $28 million on DEI initiatives, $15 million of which came from tax-payer funds.
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Oklahoma State Superintendent Ryan Walters was the next to demand an account of “every dollar” spent on DEI initiatives at public institutions of higher education. The investigation found that Oklahoma state schools spent over $10 million of their 2022-2023 DEI budget, 36% of which was taxpayer funded.
Both public and private sector institutions spent $9.5 billion on DEI in 2022 and that amount is estimated to increase to $15.4 billion by 2026, according to MSNBC.
Campus Reform contacted all relevant parties and will update accordingly.