- Officials for Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Wednesday that all State University System members will be required to submit documentation recording program expenditures relating to diversity, equity and inclusion, and critical race theory
- As part of the documentation, each institution must provide a description of the activity or program, faculty positions involved with such events
- Further, universities must report the total spending towards the listed event, and of the total amount, a specification of how much was extracted from state-provided funding
Bryan Griffin, Press Secretary for Gov. Ron DeSantis, announced on Wednesday that all State University System members are required to report expenditures and resources utilized for campus activities related to diversity, equity and inclusion, and critical race theory.
The memo, sent to Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz Jr. and State University System Chancellor Ray Rodrigues, outlines a document that will provide a comprehensive list of all staff, programs, and campus activities that might fall under the categorization of diversity, equity and inclusion, or critical race theory.
As part of the process, each institution must provide a description of the activity or program, faculty positions involved with such events, the total spending towards the listed occasion, and of the total amount, a specification of how much was extracted from state-provided funding.
“Governor Ron DeSantis has prioritized a cost-effective higher education system that delivers high quality service to Floridians to best prepare them for employment,” reads the posted memo. “To that effect, this letter is a request for information from the Department of Education and the State University System regarding the expenditure of state resources on programs and initiatives related to diversity, equity and inclusion, and critical race theory within our schools.”
State institutions are mandated to submit necessary documentation by Jan. 13.
Upon the state’s retrieval of the information, it will be forwarded to the Office of Policy and Budget.
State University System members affected by the memo include Florida A&M University, Florida Atlantic University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida International University, Florida Polytechnic University, Florida State University, New College of Florida, the University of Central Florida, the University of Florida, the University of South Florida, and the University of West Florida.
The notice’s posting drew quick criticism from Democrat lawmakers.
“In the so-called free state of Florida under Gov. DeSantis, the freedom to run [diversity, equity, and inclusion] programs at public colleges and universities appears next on the radar for destruction,” state Rep. Angie Nixon said in response to the memo. “Nothing is safe and it’s sickening.”
The memo does not outline how the reported expenditures will shape future budget allocations for individual universities, though it can be anticipated that steps will be taken to decrease funding levels from institutions that use a relatively high rate of state funding to subsidize such programs.
Further, the state has not detailed how it will ensure that member institutions accurately report expenditures.
When reached for comment, the Office of the Governor told The Capitolist that the documentation was a “fact-finding” process without any further explanation.