American Enterprise Institute scholar Mark Perry recently wrote about the impressive size of the University of Michigan’s diversity staff, which is nearly one hundred full-time employees. We noted that more than a quarter of these “diversicrats” earn annual salaries north of $100,000.
The revelation generated a bit of a stir on Twitter.
Not to be outdone, some faculty members at academic institutions reached out to Intellectual Takeout to point out that their universities can more than hold their own with the University of Michigan.
One professor at the University of Texas, for example, pointed out that its diversity department, which is made up of 94 full-time employees, is slightly larger than Michigan’s. Furthermore, UT’s diversity department boasts eight vice presidents, each of whom make more than $100,000 annually. The division’s head, who earns $306,000 annually, makes more than the president of the United States.
Nationwide, school tuition has skyrocketed in recent decades. The University of Texas is no exception. Data from The Texas Tribune shows the school’s tuition increased 150 percent between 2002 and 2015 (see graph below). Evidence suggests most of this growth nationally is the result of the unprecedented expansion of university administration.
We asked a spokesman at the University of Texas if school leaders believed eight vice presidents in its diversity department—each of whom make north of $100k—is appropriate in light of the tuition hikes students have experienced at the school decade and a half.
“UT’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement has much broader functions that most university diversity offices,” said J.B. Bird, Director of Media Relations & Digital Newsroom at the University of Texas. “At UT the division is responsible for core functions of the university and major public engagement efforts that are part of our mission as a state university.”
Bird offered several examples of these public engagement efforts, including the UT Elementary School, the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, the Office for Inclusion and Equity (which investigates allegations of faculty and staff misconduct), and the Longhorn Center for Community Engagement.
The response would suggest university leaders are quite comfortable continuing to hike tuition to fund the university’s administrative apparatus. Of course, they are not the ones who have to deal with this:
Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. His writing/reporting has appeared in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Washington Times.