University of Florida eliminates all diversity, equity and inclusion positions due to new state rule

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The University of Florida has eliminated each diversity, equity and inclusion positions owed to a caller authorities norm that prohibits nan summation of specified programs, according to an administrative memo from nan university.

In summation to slashing each DEI positions, UF has besides closed nan Office of nan Chief Diversity Officer and stopped DEI-focused contracts pinch outer vendors, per nan memo, successful accordance pinch Florida Board of Governors regularisation 9.016.

The regulation defines DEI arsenic “any program, field activity, aliases argumentation that classifies individuals connected nan ground of race, color, sex, nationalist origin, gender identity, aliases intersexual predisposition and promotes differential aliases preferential curen of individuals connected nan ground of specified classification.”

The $5 cardinal successful costs antecedently allocated for UF’s DEI initiatives, including salaries and expenditures, will now beryllium placed into a status money for nan school’s faculty, according to nan memo.

“The University of Florida is — and will ever beryllium — unwavering successful our committedness to cosmopolitan quality dignity,” nan memo said, which was signed by J. Scott Angle, provost and elder vice president for world affairs; Amy Meyers Hass, vice president and wide counsel; and Melissa Curry, vice president for quality resources.

“As we amended students by thoughtfully engaging a wide scope of ideas and views, we will proceed to foster a organization of spot and respect for each personnel of nan Gator Nation,” nan memo said. “The University of Florida is an elite institution because of our unthinkable module who are committed to teaching, discovering, and serving.”

The authorities regularisation bans nan usage of authorities costs for DEI programs, arsenic good arsenic for “political aliases societal activism,” which nan authorities memo defines arsenic “any activity organized pinch a intent of effecting aliases preventing alteration to a authorities policy, action, aliases function, aliases immoderate activity intended to execute a desired consequence related to societal issues, wherever nan assemblage endorses aliases promotes a position successful communications, advertisements, programs, aliases field activities.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis applauded nan move successful a station connected societal media level X, saying, “DEI is toxic and has nary spot successful our nationalist universities.”

Gov. DeSantis Holds Press Conference connected Manatee Protection successful Orange City, US - 6 Feb 2024Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a property convention successful Orange City, Fla., connected Feb. 6.Paul Hennessy / Sipa USA via AP

“I’m gladsome that Florida was nan first authorities to destruct DEI and I dream much states travel suit,” DeSantis added.

Meanwhile, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Steven Horsford said nan move “is acold retired of measurement pinch nan standards and values expected of a nationalist institution of higher education,” adding that “intolerance is toxic,” rejecting DeSantis’ appraisal that DEI is “toxic.”

In an October question and reply pinch section news outlet WLRN — erstwhile nan solution was a specified connection — Andrew Gothard, president of nan United Faculty of Florida union, said, “This is each astir silencing students. It’s astir silencing faculty. It’s astir withholding backing from individuals who person beliefs, speak ideas, aliases return actions that would disagree pinch nan authorities of elected leaders.”

He besides said nan solution could beryllium summed up into 2 words: “censorship and exclusion.”

Per nan UF memo, module whose positions were eliminated will person nan “standard 12 weeks of pay.” It besides encouraged those labor to use to different disposable positions wrong nan university.

Rebecca Cohen

Rebecca Cohen is simply a breaking news newsman for NBC News.