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UNL Proposes Restructuring, Slashing Budget of Diversity and Inclusion Office
Nebraska Ag Connection - 11/28/2023

While the University of Nebraska says it is seeking a president committed to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, its flagship campus has proposed slashing the budget of its Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Rodney Bennett has proposed budget cuts totaling $12 million, which is part of the NU system’s $58 million shortfall projected over the next two years. The University of Nebraska at Kearney finalized $2.3 million in academic cuts Nov. 20 as faculty across NU have blasted state leaders for not investing enough in NU.

In a statement to the Nebraska Examiner, Bennett said all those engaged with the budget process “recognize its significant effect on UNL faculty, students and staff.”

“The university has no choice but to make difficult decisions to address a structural budget deficit, and we are proceeding in a manner that allows us to continue to fulfill our mission as Nebraska’s land-grant and flagship university and remains consistent with our status as a Carnegie R1 institution,” Bennett said.

One major proposal would cut $800,000 from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and would restructure it from a central hub for DEI to a role primarily supporting university-wide priorities or initiatives. DEI work would instead be focused within smaller colleges, departments or units.

Marco Barker, UNL’s vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, described the cuts last week as disappointing in an email to the UNL National Diversity Advisory Board obtained by the Examiner.

“But we understand the many external pressures impacting higher education and diversity and inclusion that are outside of our control,” Barker said. “Still, ODI will work to discern and reimagine the best strategies and structures possible to preserve and build on the progress we’ve made thus far.”







Source: nebraskapublicmedia.org


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