According to records obtained by the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, the University of Mississippi spent $1,249,868 of its 2018-2019 budget on diversity related operations, which include the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement and the McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement. Mississippi State University spent $803,756 on diversity-related activities that include the Institutional Diversity and Inclusion Division and the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center.
When taking a look at both institutions total budgets ($681 million for Ole Miss and $364 million for Mississippi State), we see that about 0.17% is allocated to diversity for Ole Miss and .22% is allocated to diversity for Miss State.
According to MS Policy, “Ole Miss spent 95.8 percent of its diversity-related budget ($1,249,868) on personnel-related costs. That adds up to $1,197,080 in 2018-19 for eight full-time employees with more budgeted for part-time student workers. That figure could also increase with four unfilled positions, two of which (assistant vice chancellors for diversity and community engagement) pay $120,000 apiece per year.”
The goal of the budgeted dollars is to help the university “increase the enrollment and graduation rate of minorities, hire more minorities in administrative, faculty and staff positions, change the curriculum to one that “enhances multicultural awareness and understanding,” and increase the use of minority vendors by the university.”
Mississippi State spent 660,687.432 or 82.2% of its $803,756 budgeted dollars on personnel-related costs. The university currently “has 11 full-time employees and more money budgeted for part-time student workers whose job descriptions are based on increasing campus diversity.
The goal of MSU’s diversity strategy is similar to that of Ole Miss.
There are other educational institutions within the southern United States that are including diversity budgets in similar fashion.
- The University of Alabama has six full-time employees dedicated solely to two diversity-related organizations, the Diversity Equity and Inclusion office and the Women and Gender Resource Center. The Tuscaloosa-based institution had a budget of $2.14 billion in 2017.
- Louisiana State University has nine full-time employees whose role is dedicated to diversity-related issues. LSU had a budget of $1.018 billion in 2018.