“Florida Is Where DEI Goes To Die”: University Of Florida Cleans House, Fires All DEI Employees

In a sweeping move that hopefully will become a national trend, the University of Florida has fired all DEI employees and eliminated the positions at the school.

Approximately 13 full-time diversity, equity, and inclusion positions were eliminated, and 15 administrative appointments were scuttled. Further, the University has halted DEI-focused contracts with outside vendors.

A memo sent on Friday read in part: “To comply with the Florida Board of Governors’ 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.” It is a stunning move, but one that was made to comply with Florida state law.

The memo continued: “Under the direction of UF Human Resources, university employees whose positions were eliminated will receive UF’s standard twelve weeks of pay. These colleagues are allowed and encouraged to apply, between now and Friday, April 19, for expedited consideration for different positions currently posted with the university. UF HR will work to fast-track the interview process and provide an answer on all applications within the twelve-week window.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made eliminating DEI one of the foundations of his efforts to fix education in the Sunshine State. He wrote on X: “Florida is where DEI goes to die. 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.”

The Florida Board of Governors passed the regulation in January, all but removing public funding for the controversial DEI positions. The regulation described DEI as “any program, campus activity, or policy that classifies individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation and promotes differential or preferential treatment of individuals on the basis of such classification.” Predictably, leftist campus groups were outraged at the decision, claiming they “correct systemic inequities and address increasingly diverse student populations.”

Conservative personality Christopher Rufo weighed in on social media, saying: “The conservative counter-revolution has begun.” He wasn’t alone in his criticism of DEI initiatives. Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. said: “Higher education must return to its essential foundations of academic integrity and the pursuit of knowledge instead of being corrupted by destructive ideologies. These actions today ensure that we will not spend taxpayers’ money supporting DEI and radical indoctrination that promotes division in our society.”

The University of Florida plans to reallocate $5 million of the funds used for DEI into a faculty recruitment fund. The memo concluded: “Finally, the University of Florida is – and will always be – unwavering in our commitment to universal human dignity. As we educate students by thoughtfully engaging a wide range of ideas and views, we will continue to foster a community of trust and respect for every member of the Gator Nation. The University of Florida is an elite institution because of our incredible faculty who are committed to teaching, discovering, and serving.”

The death of DEI in Florida is the first step in what hopefully will be a national revolution against the racist policy. Perhaps it was well-meaning, but DEI only serves to separate and divide folks based on sexuality and color. That isn’t a step forward but rather two steps back toward real racism. Kudos to Florida and Governor DeSantis for putting Florida back on the right track.

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