Mar 1, 2024 - Politics & Policy

University of Florida terminates all DEI positions

An image of a building of the University of Florida from the outside along with an entrance to the campus with the school's name on it

An entrance of the University of Florida. Photo: Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The University of Florida eliminated all positions focused on diversity, equity and inclusion and halted its DEI-related contracts on Friday.

Why it matters: Attacks against diversity in national higher education institutions and corporations have intensified, as investments are diluted.

  • 13 full-time positions were terminated and 15 administrative appointments were ended for faculty members, said Cynthia Roldán Hernández, a university spokesperson.

Zoom out: The Florida state government has escalated a years-long effort to regulate how race and gender are addressed in its educational institutions.

  • Earlier this year, Florida's Board of Education announced a new rule banning public colleges from using federal funds for DEI programs, activities and policies.
  • The University of Florida said terminating the DEI positions is to comply with a Florida Board of Governors' regulation on prohibited expenditures, according to a memo by three of the university's vice presidents.
  • Last year, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation defunding DEI programs at state public colleges and allowed the state to remove programs majors and minors that teach "identity politics."

What's next: The university will reallocate about $5 million in funds, which went to DEI efforts including salaries, into a faculty recruitment fund.

  • The move could impact clubs, classes and other institutional programs but carves out an exception for campus activities required to retain accreditation.

Go deeper: Florida bans state colleges from using public funding for DEI

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