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University of Florida eliminates Office of the Chief Diversity Officer and related staff positions

University of Florida
Posted at 3:01 PM, Mar 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-01 15:34:44-05

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida announced Friday that it has closed the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer, eliminated DEI positions and administrative appointments, and halted all DEI-focused contracts with outside vendors.

The move was made by the University to try to comply with a Florida Board of Governors regulation on prohibited expenditures and was made public in a memo Friday.

Governor Ron DeSantis signed a law in 2023 that barred state universities from spending state or federal funds to promote, support, or maintain any programs that "advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion, or promote or engage in political or social activism."

Following the announcement, Gov. DeSantis posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, saying, "DEI is toxic and has no place in our public universities. I’m glad that Florida was the first state to eliminate DEI, and I hope more states follow suit."

Related: Governor DeSantis signs bill to defund DEI programs at Florida public colleges

The school said the employees who had a position eliminated would receive 12 weeks of pay and could reapply for other jobs.

In addition to the closing of the office, the school said it will reallocate the office's $5 million in funds into a faculty recruitment fund.