ALERT – Defunding Diversity Offices in Higher Education 

Media Contact: Debra S. Nolan, CAE
Phone: 561-472-8479 
Email: [email protected]


April 22, 2016 - North Palm Beach, FL  - The work of higher education to advance diversity and inclusion on our campuses aligns with the need to provide a framework for graduates to become outstanding leaders and life-long learners.  Not only is it essential for today’s students to critically analyze information from multiple sources, they must comprehend global and cultural diversity in order to lead in an increasingly interdependent world.

Efforts to disrupt the work of our nation’s institutions of higher education, through defunding offices like the University of Tennessee’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, is misguided and the impact extends far beyond the work of one office.  It communicates to higher education that our work to create robust learning environments is limited to teaching from a much narrower perspective that is not a reflection of the global society we expect our students to make informed decisions on and lead.

Defunding such offices ignores the important role of diversity and inclusion operations across the country in leading change, and addressing the lingering effects of past discrimination in this country, and solving societal problems and evolving challenges in a culturally informed and ethical ways.   

To disable the work of diversity and inclusion within modern academia strikes at the very core of the abiding core values of many higher education institutions.

As guardians of the critical work performed daily by diversity, equity and inclusion professionals in academia, we oppose efforts that have a chilling effect on progress, including defunding of such offices, and appeal to the conscience of this nation regarding this concerning precedent and deleterious result that will ensue if such efforts are allowed to stand.

About NADOHE - The National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) serves as the preeminent voice for diversity officers in higher education. Its vision is to lead higher education towards inclusive excellence through institutional transformation. NADOHE has more than 600 institutional and individual members. For more information, please call 561-472-8479 or visit