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University of Florida fires all 28 DEI employees in major victory for conservative counter-cultural revolution

By Samuel Lee
|
March 2, 2024

The University of Florida has terminated its diversity, equity, and inclusion staff and closed the related office.

In a significant move, the University of Florida has disbanded its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) department. This decision resulted in the termination of all DEI staff and the closure of the DEI office. This action aligns with a new regulation from the Florida Board of Governors that prohibits the use of state funds for DEI initiatives, the Daily Wire reported.

Regulatory changes lead to DEI office closure

The Florida Board of Governors recently issued a regulation that restricts state funding for DEI activities.

In response, the University of Florida took decisive steps to comply with these new guidelines.

An email from the university's Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs announced the closure of the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer. Moreso, it detailed the elimination of DEI positions and the termination of DEI-related contracts with external vendors. In fact, this email was shared on social media by Chris Rufo, a conservative journalist and activist.

The email read:

To comply with the Florida Board of Governor’s regulation 9.016 on prohibited expenditures, the University of Florida has closed the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer, eliminated positions and administrative appointments, and halted DEI-focused contracts with outside vendors.

Chris Rufo commented on the situation, saying, "The conservative counter-revolution has begun."

Impact on staff and budget reallocation

As a result of this decision, the university eliminated 13 DEI positions.

Additionally, faculty members held 15 administrative roles terminated.

The university plans to reallocate the funds previously used for DEI initiatives. Approximately $5 million was earmarked for DEI expenses. Hence, this will be used to create a faculty recruitment fund.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis praised the university's decision. Furthermore, he labeled DEI efforts as "toxic". Also, he stated that they have no place in public universities. Governor DeSantis expressed his hope that other states would follow Florida's lead in eliminating DEI initiatives.

Statewide prohibition on DEI funding

The move to dismantle the DEI office at the University of Florida follows statewide legislation. This legislation bans the allocation of state funds towards any activities that categorize individuals based on race, color, sex, national origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation. It also prohibits promoting differential treatment based on such classifications.

Florida's stance on DEI initiatives has been clear, with multiple laws enacted to prevent state and federal funds from being used in these efforts.

Governor DeSantis has been at the forefront of this push, signing bills that limit DEI-related programs and curricula in educational institutions.

One of the bills signed by Governor DeSantis prohibits educational programs that suggest systemic biases are ingrained in U.S. institutions. The Governor's office remarked that such programs violate Florida's laws against discrimination.

Broader implications for education in Florida

The actions at the University of Florida are part of a broader strategy by the state's administration. Governor DeSantis has also targeted other educational institutions for reform.

The New College of Florida, known for its liberal stance, has seen significant changes. Governor DeSantis appointed Chris Rufo to the Board of Trustees, marking a shift in the college's direction. Rufo described this appointment as the start of a conservative counter-revolution in education.

This series of actions reflects a growing trend in Florida.

Conclusion

  • The University of Florida has ended all DEI positions and closed the DEI office in response to state regulations.
  • Funds previously allocated for DEI are being redirected to faculty recruitment.
  • Governor DeSantis supports this move, advocating for the elimination of DEI from public universities.
  • New laws in Florida restrict the use of state funds for DEI efforts and curricula perceived to promote systemic biases.