University of Florida Drops All DEI Positions

DeSantis applauds the move he'd worked toward
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2024 4:45 PM CST
University of Florida Drops All DEI Positions
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks last week at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.   (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP, File)

The University of Florida has shut down its diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, an administrative memo revealed on Friday, in response to new state restrictions on the use of funding. The memo says the school closed the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer, "eliminated DEI positions and administrative appointments, and halted DEI-focused contracts with outside vendors," ABC News reports. The move eliminated about a dozen full-time positions, per Politico. "DEI is toxic and has no place in our public universities," Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has led the move against DEI efforts, posted on X. "I'm glad that Florida was the first state to eliminate DEI and I hope more states follow suit."

Three senior university officials said in the memo that the school nevertheless will carry on with "our commitment to universal human dignity." The steps against DEI have been overseen by Ben Sasse, the former Republican US senator whose appointment elicited opposition. US Rep. Steven Horsford, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, took issue with DeSantis' comment, saying "intolerance is toxic," per NBC News. A state legislator called the firings "the most recent manifestation of the policies of an out of touch legislature, and a Governor's failed Presidential bid," per the Gainesville Sun. "We can't call ourselves the 'free State of Florida' when children aren't free to learn the truth of their history, and see the diversity of humanity," Democratic Rep. Dianne Hart said. Every public college and university in Florida will be affected by the new law, per the AP. (More Florida stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.