EducationTaxes & SpendingTexas Public Colleges Set Aside Over $45 Million for Diversity Measures Last Year

Texas public universities set aside over $45 million for diversity measures in the last fiscal year, with UT and A&M as top spenders and some minority-serving colleges competing at the bottom.
September 3, 2020
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Though the $2 million that went to “Operations and Maintenance” for Texas A&M’s Associate Provost for Diversity may sound like a chunk of change, it’s a drop in the bucket statewide.

Altogether, public universities across Texas allocated $45,487,952 on programs and offices for diversity, including salaries, operations and maintenance, and benefits. Measures that forward critical theories of race, gender, and sexuality are all included in the data.

Wages and salaries were only a part of the statewide total. Other costs ranged widely, from a $500 earmark for a transgender clothing closet at Midwestern State to over $200,000 for the Galerstein Gender Center at the University of Texas at Dallas, whose upcoming events calendar includes a group session to discuss racism in the Dallas LGBT community this November.

With a final price tag of $28,436,942 for such programs, mostly for the office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement, the University of Texas (UT) dwarfed all other public schools in Texas in total spending. Texas A&M came in at a distant second with a diversity budget of $7,346,597, with $2 million devoted to operations and maintenance for the Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity.

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The second graph removes UT to better compare the budgets of schools whose slices are slimmed next to UT’s 63 percent share of the statewide pie.

While almost all the universities keep an established office or department for diversity and inclusion, many splinter their diversity efforts into smaller pieces throughout the budget. Alongside the $258,613 earmarked for its Diversity and Inclusion Center last year, the University of Houston gave $146,466 to its LGBTQ Resource Center and $60,000 to “Diversity Initiatives.”

Texas A&M at Prairie View and Texas Southern University, both historically black colleges, included no specific funding for diversity programs in their budgets. The same was true for several other members of the Texas A&M system and the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, which has been federally deemed a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) with over half its student body counted as minorities.

Certain schools, such as the University of Texas at Tyler, have made some concerted efforts toward diversity and inclusion but showed no clear allocation for those programs in their budgets for the last fiscal year.

Altogether, the state gave over $4 billion to these universities in the 2020 fiscal year.

The data come from publicly available operating budgets, ending in the fiscal year 2020, of every public university in Texas, excluding public community colleges. Only line items that expressly fund diversity or inclusion measures were included, and ambiguous line items were cross-referenced with school websites to confirm that they specifically pertained to race, gender, or sexuality. Academic departments, such as women’s and gender studies departments, were excluded.

Screenshots of all line items have been captured, with efforts made to include a page number or other identifying features in the frame where possible. Because some pages have more than one listed line item, there is not one picture for each item.

The spreadsheet also includes links to the universities’ operating budgets, whose line items are listed as exactly as formatting allows to better aid computer searches of the files.

 

  1. Budgets spreadsheet for all colleges
  2. Comptroller’s spreadsheet of money given to these universities in FY2020
  3. Screenshots titled and organized into folders for each school

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Isaiah Mitchell

Isaiah Mitchell

Isaiah Mitchell is a reporter for The Texan, a Texas native, and a huge Allman Brothers fan. He graduated cum laude from Trinity University in 2020 with a degree in English. Isaiah loves playing music and football with his family.