Late Wednesday, the Florida Board of Governors, in compliance with Senate Bill 266, voted to restrict further diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives within the state’s public universities.
This move is the latest development in Florida’s ongoing efforts to curtail diversity programs in educational institutions, reported The Hill.
The newly passed regulation effectively prohibits public universities from using government funds to support activities, programs, clubs, and faculty recruitment associated with DEI.
According to a report by WMFE, a local radio station that initially broke the story, federal funding will no longer be available to back these endeavors.
In May, Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Stop Woke Act into law, legislation that was framed as a response to the perceived exclusion of certain students and asserted that DEI initiatives were attempting to impose a specific ideological agenda on students and faculty.
DeSantis contended that such efforts promoted “exclusion” and “discrimination,” suggesting that students interested in studying gender ideology should seek out institutions in other states, like the University of California, Berkeley.
Critics of the law argue that it will further marginalize students from racial and LGBTQ backgrounds.
The policy stipulates that a university would violate the law if it establishes or engages in a program, policy, or activity that favors or disadvantages an individual or group based on color, sex, national origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
Furthermore, schools are now prohibited from endorsing the notion that an individual or group is “inherently, unconsciously, or implicitly” biased.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. Programs mandated by state or federal law for accreditation and those financed with private funds will not fall under this purview.
Additionally, initiatives designed to aid first-generation college students, nontraditional students, students from low-income families, students with disabilities, students transferring from community colleges, and Pell Grant recipients are exempt from the restrictions.
In response to the new regulations, universities must designate a specific group or individual responsible for establishing disciplinary procedures to ensure compliance with the policy on their campuses.
Jim Thomas | email@example.com
Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.
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