(TheProudRepublic.com) – Far-left wokeism’s deep penetration of US higher education is stimulated with mind-blowing sums of money as a new report reveals that Oklahoma’s public universities alone splurged a whopping $83.4 million for “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) in the past decade.
This figure, representing the total DEI expenditures by Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities since the 2013-14 academic year, was disclosed following a request from State Superintendent Ryan Walters.
Detailed reports showed that the expenses for DEI events included funds for drag queen performances, a program on fostering “Trans and Non‐Binary Resilience,” antiracist training, and a presentation on “Black Jesus,” as reported by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, cited by The College Fix.
In the 2022-23 academic year alone, Oklahoma’s public higher education institutions spent $10 million on DEI activities and salaries, marking the highest yearly expenditure in this area over the past decade, up from $7.1 million in 2013-14.
The rising costs have led some major Oklahoma donors to withdraw their financial support. In response, several Republican state legislators proposed a resolution to defund DEI in higher education.
In October, the Oklahoma Senate Education Committee hosted a study discussion on the negative impacts of DEI in higher education.
Manhattan Institute scholar Ilya Shapiro, an expert in constitutional law, co-authored a policy paper earlier this year advocating for the abolition of DEI.
“While the idea of DEI is nice, the way these structures have been implemented, it means the opposite, in a very Orwellian-like way. Students, including racial minorities, feel less welcome on campuses today than they did 20 years ago when we didn’t have these measures in place,” Shapiro told The Fix.
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs President Jonathan Small argued that financial consequences are necessary to prompt change within higher education institutions.
“When higher ed won’t get the message, if they remove funding, higher ed starts to behave in a manner that’s more befitting of the billions of dollars that it’s getting with taxpayer dollars,” Small stated.
Adam Kissel, a Heritage Foundation education expert, stressed DEI was not essential for meeting accreditation standards in higher education.
“Although it is true that accreditors have DEI standards, those standards don’t require DEI officers, DEI offices, and they don’t define DEI in such a way that a university has to define it in terms of race or underrepresented groups in most cases,” Kissel said.