Skip to Content

University of Florida eliminates DEI office to comply with state regulations

By Shawn Nottingham, Carlos Suarez and Nicquel Terry Ellis, CNN

(CNN) — The University of Florida announced it has closed the office of its Chief Diversity Officer in compliance with the Florida Board of Governors regulations, according to a memo from the institution.

“To comply with the Florida Board of Governor’s regulation 9.016 on prohibited expenditures, the University of Florida has closed the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer,” The UF memo reads.

In January, Florida’s Board of Governors voted to ban state spending on all diversity, equity and inclusion programs, in an effort to comply with legislation Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed in May 2023 that defunded DEI programs at state universities and colleges.

Gov. DeSantis had called DEI programs a “distraction from the core mission” of public universities, CNN previously reported.

Florida was one of the first states to enact an anti-DEI law in 2023. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has also signed similar legislation banning DEI offices at state colleges, which has forced some campus programs at the University of Texas-Austin to stop providing services to students.

Critics of DEI programs in higher education, as well as corporate America, insist they are unfair and discriminatory.

“This is better viewed as standing for discrimination, exclusion and indoctrination, and that has no place in our public institutions,” DeSantis said last year, CNN previously reported.

But proponents of DEI initiatives tell CNN they feel the recent backlash from lawmakers is an attempt to roll back decades of progress toward making college campuses and work environments diverse and inclusive to all.

In addition to closing the office of the Chief Diversity Officer, the University of Florida also “eliminated DEI positions and administrative appointments, and halted DEI-focused contracts with outside vendors” according to a statement from the university.

As a result of the changes, 13 full-time positions were eliminated, administrative appointments have ended for 15 members of faculty and $5M in funds will be reallocated, the university confirmed to CNN.

The memo also states that those who were let go “are allowed and encouraged to apply, between now and Friday, April 19, for expedited consideration for different positions currently posted with the university.”

“The University of Florida is – and will always be – unwavering in our commitment to universal human dignity,” the memo states.

“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.”

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - National

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newssource


KRDO NewsChannel 13 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content