April 20, 2024
On Friday, the University of Florida announced it had shut down its Office of the Chief Diversity Officer, eliminated all Diversity, Equity and Inclusion positions and administrative appointments, and terminated DEI-related contracts with external vendors. "To comply with the Florida Board of Governor's regulation 9.016 on prohibited expenditures, the University...

On Friday, the University of Florida announced it had shut down its Office of the Chief Diversity Officer, eliminated all Diversity, Equity and Inclusion positions and administrative appointments, and terminated DEI-related contracts with external vendors.

“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 DEI positions and administrative appointments, and halted DEI-focused contracts with outside vendors,” the UF wrote in an administrative memo.

The memo further noted that the “Office of the Chief Financial Officer will reallocate the approximately $5 million in funds — previously reported to Tallahassee for DEI expenses, including salaries and expenditures — into a faculty recruitment fund to be administered by the Office of the Provost.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has made ending DEI a cornerstone of his leadership in the Sunshine State, tweeted, “Florida is where DEI goes to die…”

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A total of 13 full-time DEI positions were dismissed and 15 administrative appointments were eliminated.

The individuals in the eliminated DEI positions will receive UF’s standard twelve weeks of pay.

On Nov. 9, 2023, the Florida Board of Governors approved two regulations that directly affect the DEI of college campuses in an attempt to target “wokeness” and ideological “indoctrination” in the state’s publicly-funded higher education system.

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The first regulation, labeled “Prohibited Expenditures” under Regulation 9.016 and aligned with Senate Bill 266 — which was enacted by Gov. DeSantis on May 15, 2023 — bars universities from allocating funds to diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and from engaging in or promoting social or political activism.

“Florida is getting out of that game,” Gov. DeSantis said during the signing of SB 266 at the New College of Florida in Sarasota, according to Politico. He added, “If you want to do things like gender ideology, go to Berkeley — go to some of these other places.”

The second, Regulation 14.010, following House Bill 1521, mandates universities to clearly mark restrooms and changing facilities according to male, female and unisex usage, with strict consequences, including possible termination, for university employees who fail to comply.

House Bill 1521, known as the “Facility Requirements Based on Sex,” was passed to enforce the use of bathrooms and changing facilities according to the sex assigned at birth.

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The bill, part of a legislative push on transgender issues, was approved by the Florida legislature and mandates that restrooms and changing facilities in various public entities, including schools, universities, government buildings and correctional facilities, be designated for exclusive use by males or females, based on biological sex at birth.

Former United States Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) serves as the president of UF.

UF is not the first school in Florida to eliminate its DEI program.

Florida International University “eliminated” its DEI program in a message posted to its website, and the University of North Florida announced it will be “phasing out the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and its centers (Interfaith Center, Intercultural Center, LGBTQ Center and Women’s Center).”


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