University of Michigan employs 93 full-time, well-paid diversity officials

by WorldTribune Staff, June 5, 2018

The surging cost of higher education can be tied in large part to the massive expansion of university administration, campus-watchers say.

A telling example can be found at the University of Michigan, which employs 93 full-time diversity officials. The total payroll for this small army of “diversicrats” is $8.4 million.

Topping the list is Robert Sellers, whose title is “Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion & Chief Diversity Officer”. Sellers makes $396,550 per year.

“If you fell out of your chair upon realizing that the University of Michigan has a full-time diversity staff of nearly 100 employees, one of whom earns more than the president of the United States, you can be forgiven. I nearly did too,” Jon Miltimore, director of digital media of Intellectual Takeout, wrote in a May 30 analysis.

Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint and scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, used the University of Michigan as an example to highlight the rise of “diversicrats” (diversity bureaucrats) on U.S. campuses.

Perry noted that the University of Michigan’s full-time diversity staff includes administrators, officers, directors, vice-provosts, deans, consultants, specialists, investigators, managers, executive assistants, administrative assistants, analysts, and coordinators.

More than one-quarter (26) of these “diversicrats” earn annual salaries of more than $100,000, Perry noted.

When adding to cash salaries an estimated 32.45 percent for the university’s generous fringe benefit package for the average diversity employee (retirement, health care, dental insurance, life insurance, long-term disability, paid leave, paid vacation, social security, unemployment insurance, Medicare, etc.) the total employee compensation for this group tops $11 million per year, Perry said. That does not count the cost of office space, telephones, computers and printers, printing, postage, programs, training, or travel expenses.

Paul Campos, a law professor at the University of Colorado, wrote in the New York Times in 2015: “According to the Department of Education data, administrative positions at colleges and universities grew by 60 percent between 1993 and 2009, which Bloomberg reported was 10 times the rate of growth of tenured faculty positions.

“Even more strikingly, an analysis by a professor at California Polytechnic University, Pomona, found that, while the total number of full-time faculty members in the C.S.U. system grew from 11,614 to 12,019 between 1975 and 2008, the total number of administrators grew from 3,800 to 12,183 – a 221 percent increase.”

In his analysis, Miltimore noted that “There is no doubt that the human costs of this rise are severe: Some 44 million Americans currently carry nearly $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, and the delinquency rate is 11 percent.”

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