DeSantis admin requires public universities to report DEI, CRT-related expenditures
The initiative requires all state universities to submit information regarding DEI, CRT related positions, activities, programs, and spending.
University of Florida student Vince Dao referred to the memo as 'a vital first step in holding academia accountable.'
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) will now require state universities to report any spending related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and Critical Race Theory (CRT), according to a memo made public on Jan 4.
Bryan Griffin, DeSantis’ Press Secretary, posted the memo on Twitter, announcing the administration’s newest initiative to crack down on DEI and CRT "expenditures and resources" in higher education.
MEMO: All state university & college systems in Florida have been required to report expenditures and resources utilized for campus activities related to diversity, equity, and inclusion and critical race theory. Stay tuned. pic.twitter.com/E4Z4zLuJgC
— Bryan Griffin (@BryanDGriffin) January 4, 2023
[RELATED: Florida SGA senator seeks to use university funds to reimburse students for out-of-state abortions]
“All state university & college systems in Florida have been required to report expenditures and resources utilized for campus activities related to diversity, equity, and inclusion and critical race theory. Stay tuned,” Griffin’s tweet reads.
Under the initiative, each Florida College System and State University System member is required to fill out a document, breaking down any "staff, programs, and campus activities" related to DEI and CRT, along with how much funding goes into them.
“[I]t is important that we have a full understanding of the operational expenses of state institutions. Governor Ron DeSantis has prioritized a cost-effective higher education system that delivers high quality service to Floridians to better prepare them for employment,” the memo reads in part.
[RELATED: DeSantis to sign new bill that introduces legal, funding repercussions for teaching CRT]
Shortly after being announced, educators took to Twitter to attack Desantis’ plan.
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, a member of George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management, compared DeSantis to “totalitatian dictators.”
.@GovRonDeSantis is adopting an extreme and radical agenda of censoring institutions of higher learning. I’ve seen this happen in countries with corrupt governments where totalitarian dictators attack education as a means to opress. We cannot allow this to happen in America. https://t.co/emPKi2UZJ7
— Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (@DebbieforFL) January 5, 2023
“[DeSantis] is adopting an extreme and radical agenda of censoring institutions of higher learning. I’ve seen this happen in countries with corrupt governments where totalitarian dictators attack education as a means to opress [sic]. We cannot allow this to happen in America,” her tweet read.
Emilio Bruna, a professor at the University of Florida, accused DeSantis of “tanking our universities to advance his presidential ambitions.”
Motivation aside, one major consequence of this demand is that state universities will have a harder time recruiting outstanding faculty, students, staff, and administrators.
DeSantis is tanking our universities to advance his presidential ambitions. https://t.co/SI5eYU7ViG
— Emilio M. Bruna (@BrunaLab) January 5, 2023
[RELATED: Yale Medicine continues to prioritize DEI]
Some Florida students, on the other hand, are on board with the initiative.
Vince Dao, political commentator and student at the University of Florida, referred to it as “a vital first step in holding academia accountable.”
"I’m sure it won’t stop all CRT-related funding, but it’ll certainly bring more exposure to it,” Dao told Campus Reform. “Hopefully, public outcry can translate to further anti-woke policy changes, both from universities and Tallahassee.”
Similarly, University of West Florida student Kenzie Cueno applauded DeSantis for his efforts to crack down on DEI and CRT.
“I think not only do we need to know what’s going on in our K-12 classrooms but also our college ones,” Cueno told Campus Reform.
More specifically, she said, “It will make our state officials aware of what’s going on behind closed doors so they are able to properly address the situation.”
Campus Reform reached out to each party mentioned and this article will be updated accordingly.
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