Posted on February 1, 2023

Ron DeSantis Plans to Defund Diversity Programs in Florida Universities

Sanjana Karanth, HuffPost, January 31, 2023

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday that he plans to defund diversity, equity and inclusion programs in every Florida university, another move in his push to upend higher education in the state.

The governor and potential 2024 presidential hopeful laid out a list of higher education “reforms” his administration aims to carry out, including banning DEI programs that help universities create a more supportive and inclusive space for staff and students from marginalized backgrounds. The state legislature will need to approve the plans before they go into effect.

“We are also going to eliminate all DEI and [critical race theory] bureaucracies in the state of Florida. No funding, and that will wither on the vine,” DeSantis said. “And I think that that’s very important because it really serves as an ideological filter, a political filter.”

The governor equated mandatory DEI trainings as “imposing an agenda” that constitutes “a drain on resources,” and claimed that having universities include diversity statements is no different than “making people take a political oath.”


Last week, the Florida Board of Education approved a training for public schools that focuses on preventing children from reading books about racial justice and books with LGBTQ themes. DeSantis also recently announced a statewide ban on a new Advanced Placement course on African American history ― a move that led some high school students to accuse the governor of censoring public education.

Earlier this month, DeSantis appointed conservatives to the board of New College of Florida, a state liberal arts school he has claimed is too focused on racial and gender issues. {snip}