GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA — The University of Florida (UF) “explicitly lied” to Governor Ron DeSantis about the scope of its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs, according to a new report.
Conservative journalist Chris Rufo claims he has obtained documentation via public record request that proves university officials grossly underreported the extent to which DEI is embedded at the school. Rufo – who serves on the board of trustees at New College of Florida – also indicated he used the “threat of litigation” to ensure the school did not withhold anything from his request.
In January, the DeSantis administration issued a memo to all of Florida’s public colleges and universities, requiring them to provide a full breakdown of expenditures and resources used for any campus activities related to diversity, equity and inclusion.
UF officials reported that the university spends roughly $5 million per year on 30 DEI programs. Rufo claims that the documents he obtained show the number of programs actually exceeds 1,000 – which are “embedded in every facet of the university's programs and administration.”
“The University of Florida, which is under the purview of a Red state legislature, explicitly lied to the governor, in its official response to his request about their DEI programs,” Rufo told the Daily Mail.
Rufo said UF officials underreported the extent of DEI with the hopes that they could ‘conceal the radicalism inside the campus.’ The university did not respond to Rufo’s claims.
On February 14, The Florida Standard and the Alachua Chronicle revealed an insider’s report that claimed UF omitted “numerous individuals and initiatives that promote DEI and CRT programs that are being forced upon faculty, staff, and students campus-wide, in almost every department and college.”
THE WAR ON DEI IN FLORIDA
In May, DeSantis signed legislation that prohibited public colleges and universities from funding programs “based on theories that systemic racism, sexism, oppression, and privilege are inherent in the institutions of the United States and were created to maintain social, political, and economic inequities.”
The governor bashed DEI as a misleading euphemism saying: “If you look at the way this is actually being implemented across the country, DEI is better viewed as standing for Discrimination, Exclusion and Indoctrination. And that has no place in our public institutions.”
Throughout the year, Rufo has been leading a crusade against “DEI bureaucracies” nationwide in recent weeks, exposing discriminatory practices at major universities across the country. In February, he claimed Florida State University had also underreported the extent to which DEI programs were embedded at the school.
On January 6, the governor appointed Rufo and five other educational conservatives to the board at New College with the goal of transforming the failing, far-Left school into a “Hillsdale of the South.”
One of the Rufo’s stated initial goals was to replace Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives at New College with “equality, merit and colorblindness.”
The board followed through on February 28, making New College of Florida the first university in the country to abolish its DEI initiatives.