Written by Ashton Snyder on
 March 3, 2024

University Of Florida DEI Officials Fired In Response To DeSantis-Backed Law

The University of Florida has just made a drastic move.

According to Daily Mail, the school's entire office dedicated to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) has been closed, impacting 28 roles in response to new Florida state regulations.

This decision aligns with the directives from the state Board of Governors, prohibiting the use of state or federal funds for DEI advocacy programs within public universities. The closure and job cuts include 13 full-time positions along with 15 administrative appointments, signaling a significant policy shift under the governance of Ron DeSantis.

Cynthia Roldan, the university's director of public affairs, confirmed the sweeping eliminations. A leaked memo from Provost J. Scott Angle and other university officials detailed the compliance efforts, marking the end of the DEI-focused era at the institution.

The document explicitly stated the university's adherence to Florida Board of Governors regulation 9.016, leading to the cessation of DEI positions, administrative appointments, and contracts with external vendors focused on these initiatives.

Impact on Staff and Future Plans

The closure of the office, which had been operational for six years, comes with a promise of severance. Affected staff are offered 12 weeks of severance pay and the opportunity to seek other positions within the university.

This gesture extends to notable figures such as Marsha McGriff, Farrah Harvey, and Wilma Rogers, who are encouraged to apply for other roles. The university, with over a hundred vacancies, hopes to accommodate these experienced professionals, albeit in positions that may demand specific technical skills or are in custodial services.

The reallocation of funds previously earmarked for DEI initiatives is also part of the university's strategic shift. Approximately $5 million is redirected to a faculty recruitment fund under the Office of the Provost's administration. However, detailed plans for the utilization of these reallocated resources remain unspecified, leaving room for speculation on the future priorities of the institution.

Community and Staff Response to Changes

The announcement has undoubtedly stirred the university community, prompting discussions about the future of diversity and inclusion efforts on campus.

While the memo assures a streamlined process for affected employees to find new roles, the broader implications of these changes on the university's culture and values are yet to be seen. The directive from Provost Angle, alongside VP Amy Meyers Hass and VP for Human Resources Melissa Curry, emphasizes the university's commitment to comply with state regulations while attempting to mitigate the immediate impact on the staff.

In conclusion, the University of Florida's decision to close its DEI office and eliminate associated positions marks a notable change in its approach to diversity and inclusion.

This move, dictated by state regulations and reflecting broader political trends, raises questions about the future of DEI efforts in public institutions. The affected staff, offered severance and the possibility of reemployment within the university, face a period of transition.

Meanwhile, the reallocation of DEI funds to faculty recruitment signals a shift in priorities that may influence the institution's direction for years to come. As the university navigates these changes, the community watches closely, pondering the balance between regulatory compliance and the values of diversity and inclusion.

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About Ashton Snyder

Independent conservative news without a leftist agenda.
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