To the UConn Community:
In the last few weeks, we have received a few concerned emails about rumored budget cuts for the ODI Cultural Centers. We appreciate your concern and want to provide some information about the funding that has been allocated to support our Cultural Centers for the 2022-2023 academic year.
First, the cultural centers are NOT being “defunded” and their budgets have NOT been reduced. The cultural center budgets are part of the ODI budget, and decisions about funding allocations are dependent on that overall amount and determined by existing programs and new initiatives.
In past years, ODI was able to support the programming and staffing for PRLACC, NACP and MECP by utilizing unspent funds from our operating budget. This gave us additional resources to work with in 2021-2022, which we used to open and staff the ODI Commons, the new home to the Middle Eastern Cultural Programs and Native American Cultural Programs. Considering the funding needed to renovate and furnish the ODI Commons all but 2.5% of our unused funding from the ’21-’22 fiscal year was set aside by the university to cover the projected costs.
This year, to sustain our commitment to support the Native American Cultural Programs (NACP) and Middle Eastern Cultural Programs (MECP), ODI made the decision to redistribute some of the funding earmarked for the Cultural Centers to support this priority. As a result of this decision each of the Cultural Centers will have a slightly smaller operating budget for this academic year than they did last year.
We want to assure you that the University and its leadership remain committed to supporting our cultural centers and programs. Please feel free to contact ODI at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any additional questions or concerns.
Dr. Frank Tuitt
Office for Diversity and Inclusion
VP | Chief Diversity Officer
Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs