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DeSantis Takes Wrecking Ball To “Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion” Bureaucracy In Florida Public Universities

DeSantis Takes Wrecking Ball To “Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion” Bureaucracy In Florida Public Universities

“Prohibiting higher education institutions from using any funding, regardless of source, to support DEI, CRT, and other discriminatory initiatives”

No one saw this coming. Except just about everyone.

While Florida’s Stop Woke Act has been enjoined by a federal judge, DeSantis had a back up plan. I noted that plan on January 15, 2023, DeSantis Permitted To Gather Data On “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” in Public Universities, Judge Rules (emphasis added):

The State has filed with the 11th Circuit for a stay of the injunction pending appeal, to which the ACLU has responded and the State replied several days ago. So we may hear soon from the 11th Circuit if Judge Walker’s injunction continues pending appeal.

But in the meantime, as we previously reported, DeSantis has required Florida public higher education institutions to provide data on the funds and programming supporting DEI.

So, the ACLU filed a motion claiming the state request for data violated the court’s prior injunction….

The Court in a short form order quickly found there was no violation of the injunction…

The request for information did not require the institutions to do anything more than report information, though it seems obvious that DeSantis is likely to gut the DEI bureaucracies, which would seem a way to achieve part of what The Stop Woke Act was intended to do. Terminating administrative positions, or cutting funding, would not implicate — or at least not directly — the First Amendment concerns that applied to what faculty could teach.

Is the federal court really going to micro-manage the Florida state higher education budgets and tell the state it cannot cut back on the number of Assistant and Associate Deans for DEI, and various underlings in the bureaucracy? Maybe, but that’s a big stretch, much more so than telling the state it cannot dictate what professors say in class. Cutting back or eliminating the DEI bureaucracy also would be more effective than telling professors what to teach, since the DEI campus machinery reaches all aspects of student life, not just coursework.

And so it came to pass. Today DeSantis announced sweeping cuts to DEI budgets:

DeSantis’ Office released this statement:

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced legislation for the 2023 Session to further elevate civil discourse and intellectual freedom in higher education, further pushing back against the tactics of liberal elites who suppress free thought in the name of identity politics and indoctrination. Amongst its many provisions, the legislation will ensure Florida’s public universities and colleges are grounded in the history and philosophy of Western Civilization; prohibit DEI, CRT and other discriminatory programs and barriers to learning; and course correct universities’ missions to align education for citizenship of the constitutional republic and Florida’s existing and emerging workforce needs. For more information, click here.

“In Florida, we will build off of our higher education reforms by aligning core curriculum to the values of liberty and the Western tradition, eliminating politicized bureaucracies like DEI, increasing the amount of research dollars for programs that will feed key industries with talented Florida students, and empowering presidents and boards of trustees to recruit and hire new faculty, including by dedicating record resources for faculty salaries,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.

Chris Rufo was at the press conference:

The budgets for DEI are gone:

  • Prohibiting higher education institutions from using any funding, regardless of source, to support DEI, CRT, and other discriminatory initiatives;

And the ideological litmus test of DEI hiring statements are gone:

  • Prohibiting postsecondary institutions from using discriminatory political filters, including political loyalty oaths and DEI statements, in the hiring process;

This will wipe out the DEI bureaucracy. Expect the ACLU to claim this violated the court injunction.

You can watch the full press conference here:


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Louis K. Bonham | January 31, 2023 at 9:50 pm

Now, if only our cowardly Texas GOP governor could show a tenth of the leadership that DeSantis demonstrates . . . .

    Abbott doesn’t have the power as the Florida Goveronship, Texas governor is purposely a weak position, how ever he is weak Period

    All talk, all hat and no cattle…

      Louis K. Bonham in reply to gonzotx. | February 1, 2023 at 1:55 pm

      You are correct that under the post-Reconstruction Constitution of 1877, the Texas governorship is a fairly weak position. However:

      (1) He appoints all the regents to state university boards. Abbott refused to reappoint the only “reform” regent UT has had in recent memory (Wallace Hall, a Perry appointee who uncovered and exposed all sorts of cozy deals between UT and various politicos), and 100% of his appointees have been “go along” donor-class types who have been unwilling to do jack about DEI / CRT.

      (2) He can call special sessions and sets the agenda for them. Last time around, after I raised questions about Abbott’s failure to address DEI/CRT in Texas higher ed and requested official comment from his press office, they gave me a statement that Abbott would be adding it to the call for the special session. Abbott later chickened out and didn’t do it.

      (3) He could easily have demanded the same sort of reports DeSantis did about how much state colleges are spending on DEI / CRT, and then just handed the collated reports it to the legislature and said “here’s where you can find $XXX million in funding for real education.” But nooooooo.

      (4) He has a bully pulpit, and could use it to put pressure on RINO’s who are waffling on the issue. He’s never done so.

      I say again: on higher ed reform, Greg Abbott is a craven coward who is afraid of the wokesters.

    Yes, and if only our cowardly former President Donald Trump showed the leadership that DeSantis demonstrates on this issue.

Morning Sunshine | January 31, 2023 at 9:50 pm

“The request for information did not require the institutions to do anything more than report information, ”

which is one of the reasons so many people oppose registration of firearms and owners. For now, it is just an “information report.” Until it isn’t.

    Louis K. Bonham in reply to Morning Sunshine. | January 31, 2023 at 10:21 pm

    It’s one thing for the government to ask rivaled citizens for information.

    It’s quite another for the CEO of the state to ask STATE EMPLOYEES how they are spending taxpayer dollars.

      Morning Sunshine in reply to Louis K. Bonham. | February 1, 2023 at 8:59 am

      oh I do not disagree. I just find it ironic that leftists are worried about lists of information collected by the government after they tell us not to be worried about lists of information collected by the government

      smalltownoklahoman in reply to Louis K. Bonham. | February 1, 2023 at 9:13 am

      Yes indeed, and though his opponents will try and challenge this move by Desantis there may be little they can do about it.

An elected official actually doing something the left and media don’t like. He should expect the FBI banging down his door very soon, and the IRS audit shortly thereafter.

DeSantis is popular because he FIGHTS.
He doesn’t come out of his corner, take a roundhouse swing, and sit back in the corner complaining that there’s nothing more he can do at the moment because the ref is cramping his style.

    Concise in reply to henrybowman. | January 31, 2023 at 11:48 pm

    And he comes with his own halo too. You better ask Oprah’s permission before you fans start calling him the One.

    healthguyfsu in reply to henrybowman. | February 1, 2023 at 2:27 am

    Excellent contrast…you’ve already managed to upset one of the cultists.

    No he is popular because he understands what is a good principle and what isn’t.

    He understands “Muh government bad” is not an American principle or tradition and the Bush era stupidity must be over and uses the reigns of government to actually govern and do things that are good.

    DeSantis is fighting by use of government. Something other Republicans need to learn to emulate.

    smalltownoklahoman in reply to henrybowman. | February 1, 2023 at 9:17 am

    Yes indeed. When the courts blocked him instead of just crying about it he went and found another way to get it done, one entirely within his power and authority as the governor of the state. It’s not hard to imagine he would bring that same mentality and attitude to the White House were he to be elected President.

    CommoChief in reply to henrybowman. | February 1, 2023 at 10:42 am

    Fights effectively and wins.

You can really get some good stuff done when you control all the machinery with large majorities. Florida has a Republican trifecta and a Republican triplex. The Republican Party controls the offices of governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and both chambers of the state legislature.

Or you can do some bad stuff. Look at California and WA state, to name two examples.

    Please don’t omit the “Outhouse State” OREGON

    You don’t need ‘large majorities’.

    You just need actual conservatives that WANT to do it, instead of a group of squishy RINOs that never had any intention of doing anything about it.

    Everything that he’s doing is OVERWHELMINGLY popular.

      healthguyfsu in reply to Olinser. | February 1, 2023 at 2:28 am

      You do need majorities. Otherwise, the good work is too easily undone.

      Danny in reply to Olinser. | February 1, 2023 at 8:13 am

      If he couldn’t get his initiatives through the state house….yes you do need Republicans. That is why Ron DeSantis worked so hard on helping down ballot Republicans win.

Funny how few other supposedly ‘conservative’ governors are doing anything about it.

As red states get redder… expect more of this.

As noted- Florida makes DeSantis look like a rock star because he’s not fighting his legislature.

Also as noted- blue states are mowing down their political enemies and weaponizing prison inmates.

Inslee is on the warpath releasing sex offenders into red towns through privatized “group homes” The state is a shit hole. Counting the days to leave.

Meanwhile, Trump went after the true enemies of America and naming them. First major politician to actually call them what they are: communists.

DeSantis is taking a governor’s approach. Trump is striking at the very heart of what is wrong and WHO we have to go after. Communists like the Club for Growth who are funding DeSantis.

    Who kidnapped Trump tied him up and forced him to do an interview with Bob Woodward?

    Sorry but Trump is not doing anyone any favors by remaining. He lost because he made major blunders during his campaign, and is extremely personally unpopular.

      gonzotx in reply to Danny. | February 1, 2023 at 10:51 am

      You think a
      Man that accomplished THIS can not solve real issues and is “hurting us”
      Your delusional and your hatred of all things Trump life’s in your head

        Danny in reply to gonzotx. | February 2, 2023 at 10:57 pm

        1. You need to win elections to become president Trump has a 0% chance of winning the general election.

        2. Trump lost most voters every election he was on the ballot

        3. Trump won the white house entirely because Hillary left vital battlegrounds uncontested due to her incompetence (even leaving out how unpopular Hillary herself was).

        4. Yes he is unpopular

        5. Yes he did lose

        6. 2022 confirmed he lost 2020

        7. I would rather let 2020 loss go and accept our defeat and fight for the future than fight for a delusion. I don’t know about you but I care more about my country’s future than petty pride.

      gonzotx in reply to Danny. | February 1, 2023 at 10:53 am

      President Trump did not lose, he won amd his Presidency was STOLEN

      President Trump
      Is extremely popular, get your head out of your “brain”

    Milhouse in reply to Pasadena Phil. | February 1, 2023 at 2:26 pm

    The Club for Growth are communists?! That takes derangement to a whole new level!

And now another Republican governor is talking about running, Gov. Hogan of (heh heh heh) Maryland.

And what is his argument? He was the first to have the courage to step up and criticize Trump. See how the race is already shaping up? Establishment polymorphs lining up one after the other to go after Trump. And guess where their money will come from? The globalist neocon Club for Growth? The dirty globalist RNC billionaires club?

And the plan for DeSantis to silently watch as Trump dispatches them on after the other and emerge at the end as the only sane choice? That was the JEB!!! approach in 2016. That is why Trump went after him early. JEB!!! was the dirty money RNC favorite. Just like DeSantis. And it is already working as DeSantis is starting to respond with touchy barbs (“I was re-elected!”) and announcing national campaign issues.

His days of playing it cute are ending and he will soon be rolling in the mud just like everyone else. Otherwise, waiting risks his becoming just the latest Never Trump candidate at the end as Trump methodically points out that everyone else is running against the margin of error. It’s impossible to control the narrative when you aren’t in the game which is what DeSantis is trying to do. Trump’s base is solid. Wait until the campaign rallies begin and the enthusiastic “big sensible middle” again shows up for Trump.

So will it be Republican establishment dirty money DeSantis or populist Trump? DeSantis will have to make a decision soon. The Trump story is much more compelling than the anti-Trump DeSantis story. Is that really the delusion driving DeSantis? Anti-Trump is the way to go? HAH!

I think in universities he has no say. The whole point of a university is that you can profess anything that you think is true.

He’d have a claim that they’re not permitting the other side to survive if they profess what they think is true, though. That goes to the definition of the university.

In public high school I think they have to teach what the state says they have to teach, subject to religious and probably other non-establishment things. As for instance the state can say math, reading, writing.

    Danny in reply to rhhardin. | February 1, 2023 at 8:45 am

    That is just silly thinking and it is how we reached the point of losing every institution in the first place.

    Of course the state has a say in how businesses run, of course the state has a say in how the public square is run, and of course the state has a say in how the gateway to the nations most profitable jobs gatekeeps.

    Democrats and Republicans both agreed on that in the 20th century, for the 21st however we took leave of our senses and forgot centuries of American politics in favor of your government has no say thing.

    The result was Democrats continued to use government to influence the public while we surrendered use of government.

    If government can prohibit things that are discriminatory against minorities it certainly could forbid other forms of discrimination.

      bullhubbard in reply to Danny. | February 1, 2023 at 10:23 am

      That many people now consider universities to be expensive trade schools is unfortunate, as is the notion that what one teaches in a college classroom is entitled to First Amendment protection.

      The democratization of higher ed in the US after WW II, with the adoption of the GI Bill of Rights, made the trade-school model necessary. After all, even if they had the skills needed to succeed (not a certainty to say the least), hundreds of thousands of veterans couldn’t all become university professors or spend all their time cultivating the finer things like art and philosophy and the intensive study of literature. First priority was keeping body and soul together with some sort of fulfilling and gainful employment, and there are only so many openings for doctors, lawyers, and engineers, even if anything like a quarter of those looking to attend college were to pursue those extremely demanding courses of study.

      Critical studies, the academic origin of DIE policies’ rationale for valuing non-white “diversity,” segregationist “inclusion,” and “equity” that hobbles talent and merit to advance the “disadvantaged” (DIE), is the font of “intersectionality,” the calculus that determines where an identity group falls in the scheme of power distribution and therefore who needs to be advanced or throttled by the unseen hand of bureaucracies designed to accomplish this sorting.

      Pretty obviously, critical studies is not, therefore, mere harmless theoretical academic woolgathering, but the operating system or “praxis” of the neo-Marxist ideology being applied everywhere to the real detriment of political speech in the marketplace and contributing to nearly every social conflict we’re trying to deal with as citizens.

      Critical studies is, in short, a method of political indoctrination. This is even reflected in many of the mission statements of colleges–pursuing “social justice” as an institutional goal. Implicitly, whether codified in a statement or not, every US college has as its primary mission, not the preservation and cultural transmission of knowledge or the development of technology, but the reformation of society through applied neo-Marxism.

      So DeSantis’s action is a necessary step toward weakening the influence of neo-Marxist intersectionality as a political weapon. Ideologue academics squawking about their free speech are hypocrites, considering the influence of neo-Marxist intersectonality on our current political discourse and on the gay/feminist/trans-sexual political movements of “liberation” that want to make us all unthinking, obedient slaves who cannot question the premises of this movement without being silenced and/or divested of income, social media platforms, and banking services.

    Capitalist-Dad in reply to rhhardin. | February 1, 2023 at 9:37 am

    Teachers have no First Amendment “right” to push ideological lies—especially at public universities that operate at taxpayer expense and where tenure protects charlatans from being fired—even if zero students attend their courses. Higher education used to be about search for truth. CRT, gender ideology, misnamed “anti-racism” courses, and similar leftist fetishes and grievance studies are strangers to truth. Add to this that they conscript students by making their indoctrination part of required courses. Drop the requirement and see how many students elect to pay good money for the leftist tripe.

    Virginia42 in reply to rhhardin. | February 1, 2023 at 9:58 am

    After several years of grad school (MA and PhD), I can tell you you are completely wrong. That is *not* how it works. You DO NOT have the right to profess “anything you think is true” or you will soon be in hot water–provided you are not espousing the liberal party line, then you pretty much can say whatever. But challenge it? You’re toast. They will go after you.

      rhhardin in reply to Virginia42. | February 1, 2023 at 10:10 am

      The university has always had crackpots. What’s new is that today the crackpots have administrative support in silencing their opponents.

      Every institution is eventually taken over by the people initially hired to buy pencils, starting with forms you have to fill out estimating your pencil needs for the next year.

    CaptTee in reply to rhhardin. | February 1, 2023 at 2:30 pm


    Your comments would be valid for private universities using funds they raise themselves.

    Any time you want to spend tax dollars for anything the people and their elected representatives have final say in how the money is spent.

Here is a major breakthrough against the “fake news media” thanks to Trump’s perseverence and Elon Musk’s selflessness:

Please note that most of the reporting started with non-conservatives like Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald eventually including liberals like Matt Taibbi and so many more on a growing list of honest journalists who never get a mention in this DeSantis echo chamber.

There is a bigger world out there and truth is breaking out everywhere. Doctrinal conservate purity is a dead end. Tell the whole story, listen to the whole story and then make you judgments. There is only one truth and it usually doesn’t conform perfectly to our expectations.

    1. All of the above get routinely mentioned besides Edward Snowden who I believe should be pardoned and brought back but hasn’t been relevant in about a decade which is why a professor who is trying to bring relevant information does not mention him. The twitter files have been covered here regularly.

    2. Elon Musk deserves 100% of the credit for things Elon Musk does Trump deserves 0% of the credit for something Elon Musk does. This is not in any way shape or for something Trump gets credit for.

      You are completely engulfed in the “conservative” (aka Uniparty) echo chamber aren’t you? ALL of you are parroting the same arguments that Trump’s enemies (OUR ENEMIES) were attacking him with and with even more venom. These threads have become just another version of “The View”. Where were you people from 2016 to 2020? Stupid and ignorant beyond belief. But you’re safe here.

        Phil, most of us voted for Trump in ’16 and/or ’20. Calling us stupid and ignorant is not a winning move, or do you imagine that it is? Very odd strategy for winning people to your point of view, no?

Steven Brizel | February 1, 2023 at 9:03 am

This is a great step by a courageous governor who puts his money where his mouth is on this issue

It’s a pathetic shame what we have in Rhode Island is tantamount to being a sister state with California.

This is not a state worth saving because it’s not so much we have LIVs (low information voters) but the collective IQs could only challenge a tomato.

One only needs to remember the recent elections of Senate District 6 in Providence, RI and how Twerking Tiara Mack was re-elected with over 80% of the vote after she became a NATIONAL embarrassment on Fox News and abroad.

Rhode Island will continue to be a bottom feeding state that embraces leftist lunacy.

Philippe DeSissi | February 1, 2023 at 10:25 am

I am concerned that if these DeSantis policies survive legal challenges, then there may well follow a veritable stampede of sane families from out-of-state sending their children to Florida for college.

The results could well be tragic for all those so-called elite (i.e., naked emperor) institutions of higher learning throughout the colder states.

What then? Who knows, perhaps those employed in for example Amherst will have to learn coding. Or plumbing.

Worse, maybe Florida could start to sink. From overpopulation. Sorta like Guam.

Desantis is now doing things that many of us in Florida wanted done sooner. He is catching up to the true conservative base here in the Sunshine State. He has a lot more to do a long way to go. Fortunately for us he will continue and bulldoze his opponents.

    Milhouse in reply to natdj. | February 1, 2023 at 2:42 pm

    Which is one reason he shouldn’t run for president. There are other Republicans who can win, if Trump doesn’t torpedo them. Right now and for the next few years Florida needs his full-time attention. The presidency will still be there for him later.

So who got fired?

How is teaching “white privilege” any different (less racist) than telling blacks “they can’t get ahead because their ancestors were slaves”?

BierceAmbrose | February 1, 2023 at 2:41 pm

“Prohibiting higher education institutions from using any funding, regardless of source, to support DEI, CRT, and other discriminatory initiatives”

“Prohibiting *our* higher education…” He’s not telling other people what to do, only telling the operations in Florida he’s responsible for how they’ll do things. Narrowly, in fact.

BierceAmbrose | February 1, 2023 at 3:28 pm

“He came in like a wreck-ing baaaaaal….”

DeSantis Must Use That as his walk-on music from now on.