Sunday, April 14, 2024

The University of Florida closes the DEI office to follow state rules

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The University of Florida shared news that it shut down the Chief Diversity Officer’s office to follow rules from the Florida Board of Governors. The board made a decision in January to stop state spending on diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, aligning with a law signed by Governor Ron DeSantis in May 2023 that removed funding for these programs at state universities and colleges.

Governor DeSantis believed these programs distracted from the main goals of public universities, and similar laws have been passed in Texas. Critics argue that diversity programs are unfair, while supporters think recent opposition from lawmakers aims to reverse progress made in creating diverse and inclusive college campuses and workplaces.

Apart from closing the Chief Diversity Officer’s office, the University of Florida also removed DEI positions, administrative roles, and stopped contracts with outside vendors focusing on DEI. This resulted in cutting 13 full-time positions, ending administrative roles for 15 faculty members, and reallocating $5 million in funds. The university encourages those affected to apply for other positions posted within the university by April 19.

The memo from the university emphasizes their unwavering commitment to universal human dignity and fostering a community of trust and respect for every member of the Gator Nation as they continue to educate students with diverse ideas and views.

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