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University of Florida eliminates DEI office, DEI positions and DEI contracts

The University of Florida on Friday announced its decision to shutter its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion office, as well as eliminate “DEI positions and administrative appointments,” and also end contracts with outside DEI vendors.

A university memo from Human Resources cited a Florida Board of Governors’ regulation on “prohibited expenditures” as the motive.

The regulation, approved earlier this year, prohibits spending state or federal funds to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion. It followed a state law approved in May 2023 that also banned DEI spending.

The memo from HR added:

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.

Additionally, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer will reallocate the approximately $5 million in funds — previously reported to Tallahassee for DEI expenses, including salaries and expenditures — into a faculty recruitment fund to be administered by the Office of the Provost.

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 news comes roughly one week after a College Fix exclusive investigative report noted the University of Florida employs one administrator for every four undergrads, with some of the administrative overhead related to the university’s DEI initiatives:

The latest data shows that UF’s DEI initiatives consisted of the equivalent of 24 full-time employees. DEI initiatives cost the university $5.3 million, $3.3 million of which is state funded.

Chief Diversity Officer Marsha McGriff made $300,000 per year as of November 2022, according to public records.

UF is led by former Republican U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, whose appointment was fiercely opposed by a contingent of faculty and students before taking the helm in late 2022.

The anti-DEI state law approved last year as part of an education reform package touted by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis stated public institutions “may not expend any state or federal funds to promote, support, or maintain any programs or campus activities that … advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion, or promote or engage in political or social activism.”

MORE: Florida drops sociology from gen ed courses, bans DEI spending

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor-in-chief of The College Fix.