Ron DeSantis Mounts Effort to Challenge Diversity Programs at State Universities in Florida

Ron DeSantis, the newly re-elected governor of Florida and probable candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination for president of the United States in 2024, has notified all state-operated universities in Florida that they are required to “provide a comprehensive list of all staff, programs, and campus activities related to diversity, equity and inclusion and critical race theory.” The universities are also expected to provide information on the “costs associated with the administration of each program or activity,” including a description of the activities, paid positions, and percentage of the operating costs that are provided by state funds.

Angie Nixon, a Democratic legislator from Jacksonville, criticized the Governor’s demands on Twitter by stating “in the so-called free state of Florida under Gov. DeSantis, the freedom to run DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) programs at public colleges and universities appears next on the radar for destruction. Nothing is safe and it’s sickening.”

Governor DeSantis has already taken on the teaching of critical race theory in the state’s schools. In April 2022, he signed the Freedom From Indoctrination Act – also referred to as the Stop Woke Act – that prohibited the teaching of critical race theory at all levels of public education in the state.

“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,” Governor DeSantis said at his second inauguration. Earlier in his victory speech on election night, he stated that “we fight ‘the woke’ in the Legislature. We fight ‘the woke’ in the schools. We fight ‘the woke’ in the corporation, and we will never ever surrender to the woke mob – Florida is where woke goes to die!”


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