HomeEducationGovernor requests details on DEI expenditures from all state universities and state colleges
Governor requests details on DEI expenditures from all state universities and state colleges
January 5, 2023
BY JENNIFER CABRERA
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis has issued a memorandum to Education Commissioner Manny Diaz and Board of Governors Ray Rodrigues, requesting that they provide information about the expenditure of state resources on programs and initiatives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and critical race theory (CRT) in state colleges and universities.
The letter says the purpose is to “have a full understanding of the operational expenses of state institutions” as the Executive Office of the Governor prepares policy and budget proposals ahead of the 2023 Legislative Session.
The letter cites the section of Florida Statutes that includes the “Stop WOKE Act,” which prohibits K-20 educational institutions from subjecting an employee or student to a required activity that constitutes unlawful discrimination.
That members of one race, color, national origin, or sex are morally superior to members of another race, color, national origin, or sex.
A person, by virtue of their race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive.
A person’s moral character or status as privileged or oppressed is determined by race, color, national origin, or sex.
A person, by virtue of their race, color, national origin, or sex, should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment to achieve diversity, equity, or inclusion.
Each Florida College System and State University System institution must provide a comprehensive list of all staff, programs, and campus activities related to DEI and CRT, and Diaz and Rodrigues must collect these and submit them to the governor’s office by January 13.
Each institution must detail the costs associated with the administration of each program or activity identified in the report:
Brief description of the program or activity;
Positions, including full and partial FTE [full-time equivalents];
Total funding spent to support the initiative; and
Of the total spent to support the initiative, the amount that is state-funded.
Local institutions spend large amounts on DEI administrators and training
Both the University of Florida and Santa Fe College spend large amounts of money on DEI administrators. UF has a Chief Diversity Officer, hired in 2018, which was also the year that office officially opened. In addition to the Chief Diversity Officer, UF has a network of Campus Diversity Liaisons who “advance IDEA [inclusion, diversity, equity, and access] initiatives in their colleges and units.” Most UF colleges also have their own IDEA or DEI committees. UF is in the first year of a three-year strategic plan to “build inclusive excellence,” beginning with developing “a comprehensive, objective, and evidence-based assessment of the current DEI landscape at UF.”
Alachua Chronicle previously covered a report from Do No Harm that concluded that the UF College of Medicine is “indoctrinating its medical school graduates in divisive philosophies and other forms of social justice activism.”
Santa Fe College holds workshops on racial equity that discuss the “nature and impact of structural racism,” provided by the Racial Equity Institute (these workshops cost $89 and $375 but are subsidized for Santa Fe College employees). A statement of the college’s values says, “The Santa Fe College community has a shared responsibility to address unconscious bias, break down prejudicial hierarchies, and demand equity for groups that have been marginalized and excluded from equal access to opportunities.”
Santa Fe College has produced an “annual equity report” since the 2018-2019 academic year, using a template from the Florida Department of Education (FDOE), and has an “equity dashboard.”
Santa Fe College Sr. Vice President Patti Locascio told Alachua Chronicle that as far as she knows, the annual equity report will still be required by FDOE in 2023.
The “Stop WOKE Act” is currently enjoined by U.S. District Judge Mark Walker; the case has been appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the appellants are awaiting a response to their motion to stay the injunction and reinstate the law while the appeal is pending.
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