Ron DeSantis cheers as University of Florida’s anti-LGBTQ president fires all diversity staff

Author: Jacob Ogles

The University of Florida has fired an entire department dedicated to diversity initiatives. The move by the state’s most prominent public university marks another in Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ exorcism of such programs throughout the state’s educational institutions.

The Independent Florida Alligator, a student-run newspaper, first broke news that all 13 employees in the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer would be sacked.

A memo to employees cited a new regulation for the Board of Governors, a DeSantis-controlled board setting policies for the State University System. It also states that about $5 million that was previously budgeted for diversity equity and inclusion programs would now instead be invested in a faculty program administered by the university provost.

“The University of Florida is – and will always be – unwavering in our commitment to universal human dignity. As we educate students by thoughtfully engaging a wide range of ideas and views, we will continue to foster a community of trust and respect for every member of the Gator Nation. The University of Florida is an elite institution because of our incredible faculty who are committed to teaching, discovering, and serving,” the memo said.

In total, 13 full-time employees and 15 administrative appointees lost their jobs but will receive 12 weeks of severance pay. The university encourages staff to apply for other jobs within the institution.

The firings marked a significant shift under University of Florida President Ben Sasse, a former U.S. Senator heavily criticized for his anti-LGBTQ record when he became the only finalist considered for the president job.

Both Sasse and DeSantis drew criticism for the decision to excise all efforts at improving diversity on campus. The New Republic called Sasse the governor’s “Hatchet Man.”

Meanwhile, DeSantis celebrated the firings of state employees. Online, he posted the message, “Florida is where DEI goes to die.”

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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Jacob Ogles

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