The University of Florida Shuts Down DEI Offices, Terminates Diversity Employees
Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The University of Florida Shuts Down DEI Offices, Terminates Diversity Employees

The University of Florida has shuttered its diversity, equity, and inclusion offices.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the University of Florida announced the closure of its Chief Diversity Officer’s headquarters on Friday and terminated DEI agreements with outside vendors. Additionally, 13 full-time positions within the diversity, equity, and inclusion division were fired, with 15 administrative appointments for faculty also ending. The announcement noted that employees affected by these eliminations would receive 12 weeks of pay and were encouraged to seek alternative positions within the university. The memo assured a prompt application decision, with the university aiming to complete the process within the specified 12-week timeframe.  

Given recently implemented state laws, the University of Florida was left with no choice. A 2023 Florida statute that prohibits universities from spending state or federal funds on DEI initiatives was passed by the Florida Board of Governors in its final form on January 24th, 2024. 

Now, the $5 million previously designated for diversity expenses would be redirected toward school recruitment. Other schools, such as The University of Central Florida and New College of Florida, have also been forced to halt and terminate DEI offices on campuses. 

The University of Florida appointed its inaugural chief diversity officer in 2018, citing the need to address historical challenges in welcoming individuals from diverse backgrounds. The move came as the school completed Black History Month celebrations, one of several heritage months that the DEI offices have prioritized. Now, these types of cultural recognitions could be in jeopardy moving forward. 

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