Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has struck another blow against Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) and Critical Race Theory (CRT) initiatives.

Last summer, DeSantis ordered Florida colleges and universities to submit detailed financial reports regarding their funding of “DEI and CRT” programs. He argued that public funds should not support DEI or CRT initiatives.

Blaze Media reported the University of Florida was accused of misrepresenting spending totals in their report “to conceal the radicalism inside the campus.”

DeSantis responded by working with the State Department of Education to establish a new law forbidding institutions of higher learning that promote DEI and CRT initiatives from receiving government funding.

An excerpt from the new law reads: “State and federal funding shall not be used to support DEI programs, activities, and policies in the Florida College System.”

In a Wednesday press release, Florida’s State Board of Education, which played a key role in recommending and advancing the new rule, stated: “The Board’s decision will ensure that taxpayer funds can no longer be used to promote DEI on Florida’s 28 state college campuses.”

The press release added that DEI initiates were defined as “programs that categorize individuals based on race or sex for the purpose of differential or preferential treatment.”
Fearing a devastating cut in funding, the University of Florida’s Board of Governors decided to eliminate DEI and CRT departments effective immediately.

According to the Gainesville Sun, the University of Florida, which reportedly spent more than $5 million on DEI programming last year, announced Friday it would reroute 2024 DEI and CRT budget accounts to a faculty recruitment fund.

The outlet noted, “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion employees will no longer have a job at UF.”

Attorney Ben Crump, a civil rights advocate, criticized Gov. DeSantis and the State Board of Education for advancing the new law, saying that cutting funding for DEI programs represented walking down “a misguided path of censorship…”

State Democrat leaders echoed Crump’s assessment. State Rep. Yvonne Hinson, a graduate from the University of Florida, said: “I am stunned but not surprised at the elimination of DEI staff at University of Florida…The culture wars engaged in the Republican dominated Florida House of Representatives will continue until Floridians have had enough and develop the will and determination to flip the majority in the Florida House.”

During a January 17 CNN town hall event, then-GOP presidential candidate DeSantis blasted DEI campus initiatives, saying, “DEI, the way it is actually practiced on campus, more accurately stands for discrimination, exclusion, and indoctrination.”

“They say it’s diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said DeSantis, “but it’s really very ideological, and they’re trying to impose an agenda.”

Last month the governor vowed: “We are eliminating the DEI programs,” DeSantis said. “We are going to treat people as individuals.”