Ohio State University (OSU) was not very forthcoming Tuesday after the American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) Mark J. Perry posted a report detailing the school’s spending on diversity, equity, and inclusion bureaucrats.
According to the report, Perry claims that OSU has 132 staffers in administration roles focused on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), costing the Ohio taxpayer more than $13 million per year.
Just out today: @OhioState has a small army of 132 "diversicrats" at an avg. salary of $77,000 and total est. payroll cost of $13.4M, which would cover in-state tuition for 1,120 students https://t.co/C80vP05kvJ @jennsmola @CollegeFix @FreemanWSJ @stevenfhayward @charliekirk11 pic.twitter.com/piuXgBy4Rv
— Mark J. Perry (@Mark_J_Perry) December 6, 2021
The Ohio Star reached out to the school for clarification, and was met with pushback from Benjamin Johnson, the school’s senior director, media & public relations.
Johnson insisted that the report, which lists two separate Directors of the Office of Institutional Equity, was inaccurate, and denied that that role even existed. He said that though “director” is a job title, the administrators’ “working titles” were the main distinguishers in their job duties.
Asked about whether some of these jobs might be redundant or a waste of money, Johnson was unclear.
“I have not reviewed the list you reference,” he said. “However, to give one example, it includes the university’s Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator. Do you consider that position redundant or a ‘waste of taxpayer resources’?”
Johnson did not comment on whether he could confirm that the school had more than 130 DEI employees, or whether the school was, indeed, spending more than $13 million per year in employee salaries for those positions.
He did, however, suggest that the DEI budget is only a fraction of the school’s annual budget.
“If you write about university spending, you’ll need to provide context for any dollar figures you have,” he said. “Ohio State’s fiscal year 2022 budget projects $8.4 billion in revenue and $7.9 billion in spending.”
OSU’s endowment is $6.8 billion.
According to one report, a study of 85 public universities showed that DEI budgets have increased 27 percent over the past five years alone.
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