University of Florida eliminates all DEI positions to comply with new state law

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News March 4, 2024

All diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) positions at the University of Florida have been eliminated to comply with a new Florida law that bars state colleges from using state or federal money to fund the programs.

Leadership at the Gainesville university said in a memo on Friday that the UF Office of the Chief Diversity Officer has been closed, 13 DEI positions were eliminated, and DEI-focused contracts with third-party vendors have been halted.

“DEI is toxic and has no place in our public universities. I’m glad that Florida was the first state to eliminate DEI and I hope more states follow suit,” said Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who signed the legislation into law last year.

The new law, which the Florida Board of Education implemented in January, said strict regulations would be put on the Florida College System about the use of tax dollars to support DEI. The board said DEI programs are “programs that categorize individuals based on race or sex for the purpose of differential or preferential treatment.”

Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz Jr. said at the time of the rule’s announcement that the law was put in place to ensure taxpayer money won’t be spent on DEI and “radical indoctrination that promotes division in our society.” He said higher education needs to return to its “essential foundations of academic integrity” instead of “being corrupted by destructive ideologies.

The school’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer will re-allocate about $5 million in funding for DEI expenses like salaries and expenditures to a faculty retirement fund.

University employees who lost their positions will receive the standard twelve weeks of severance pay and are encouraged to apply for “expedited consideration for different positions currently posted by the university.”

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