In this last legislative session, Wyoming's elected officials removed $1.7 million from the  University of Wyoming's budget, for the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Gov. Mark Gordon vetoed a portion of the Legislature’s budget. So some of that money was cut but some would continue to fund a few of UW's diversity programs.

Governor Gordon was worried about losing Federal money if UW did not have some of these DEI programs.

Now a UW working group is looking at DEI-related programming to see what, if any, they might keep.

“The message from lawmakers, regardless of the welcomed line-item veto from the Governor, is that our DEI efforts must change, and discussions are underway to determine the best path forward,” University President Ed Seidel wrote.

The video below explains some of the objections to DEI.

Faculty, staff, students, and administrators have offered suggestions.

Perhaps the office could be funded with private support.

Could the office be continued, but under a new name?

Some suggested simply closing the office, and terminating the employees.

Maybe they could close the office and redirect federally required duties elsewhere.

UW President Seidel directed a working group to find ways that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs, activities, and functions could be organized and funded within the university "to make them most effective."

But in continuing these programs and funding them, even privately the group acknowledges it would not be following the “spirit” of the Legislature’s decision.

Photo By Tim Mandese
Photo By Tim Mandese

DEI is expensive

It would need around $500,000 annually for staff and a “modest” operating budget.

That's $12.5 million for funding the office into the future.

The opposing side argues that colleges and universities operated for many decades, and some longer, without DEI and did just fine.

They don't belive that DEI is making campus life better, but worse.

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Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods

The Tate Geological Museum Casper Wyoming

The Tate Geological Museum was founded in 1980 through a gift from Marion and Inez Tate. It was originally designated as the Tate Earth Science Center and Mineralogical Museum. Because ‘geological’ encompasses earth science, mineralogy, and paleontology, the name was changed to the Tate Geological Museum in 2001.

Located on the Casper College campus, the museum is a great resource for the community. Many local schools and groups come to the museum to add to their student's learning experience.

Tate houses a collection of over 6000 fossil and mineral specimens.

Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods