Florida public universities spend $15 million of taxpayer dollars on $28 million DEI, CRT initiatives
Of the total $28 million spent on DEI and CRT for the 2022-2023 school year, $15 million, or 53.5%, consists of taxpayer dollars.
Governor DeSantis stated in his second inaugural address, 'we must ensure that our institutions of higher learning are focused on academic excellence and the pursuit of truth, not the imposition of trendy ideology.'
The State University System of Florida (SUSF) spent a total of $28 million on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) or critical race theory (CRT) initiatives in 2022-2023, according to a document obtained by the University of Florida (UF) student newspaper, the Independent Florida Alligator, on January 18.
On January 4, Governor Ron DeSantis’ office released to the public a memo requiring all public colleges and universities in Florida to report their spending on DEI and CRT initiatives and classes, including the amount that is taxpayer funded. The memo was sent to colleges and universities on December 28.
The deadline for reporting to the state was January 13.
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Of the total $28 million spent on DEI and CRT for the 2022-2023 school year, $15 million consists of taxpayer dollars (53.5%), according to the SUSF report.
The University of South Florida (USF) spent the most at $8.6 million, with approximately 30% being taxpayer dollars, according to the Daily Caller.
The University of Central Florida (UCF), with the largest student enrollment of the state schools, spent nearly $4.48 million of its budget on DEI and CRT, with nearly $2.3 million (51%) coming from taxpayers, according to the original report.
In addition to the total expenditures, the report details the nature of programs, initiatives, and positions that can be classified as DEI and CRT related.
The largest expenditure for Florida A&M University (FAUM), for example, is their “Center for Environmental Equity and Justice,” which cost the taxpayers nearly $1.8 million.
DEI offices and personnel were also significant expenditures.
UCF spent $400,000 of taxpayer funds to hire three professors under its “Faculty Recruitment Program” designed to “hire candidates from underrepresented groups,” according to the original report.
At UF, the position of Chief Diversity Officer cost $1,085,485, with over 72% being taxpayer funded.
The report also provides course descriptions for classes such as “Gender and Climate Change” at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and “Third Wave Feminism” at UCF.
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The DeSantis administration has made addressing DEI and CRT an essential pillar of its educational agenda.
As DeSantis stated in his second inaugural address, “We must ensure school systems are responsive to parents and to students, not partisan interest groups, and we must ensure that our institutions of higher learning are focused on academic excellence and the pursuit of truth, not the imposition of trendy ideology.”
This latest report on DEI and CRT education initiatives is not the last.
Last week, the DeSantis administration announced that it would be requiring public universities to report their expenditures on gender dysphoria treatments in a similar manner, with the deadline to report being February 10.
At the time of this reporting, data is unavailable for the DEI and CRT spending for the Florida College System (FCS), which manages 28 colleges in the state.
Campus Reform has contacted SUSF, UF, USF, UCF, FAMU, FAU, and Governor DeSantis’ office for comment on this story and will update accordingly.
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