Florida Slashes DEI Positions

By  - 
University of Florida

The University of Florida announced in a memo on Friday that all employees in positions related to DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) will be fired. 

This announcement is made in compliance with a state law passed in 2023, targeting funds used to “promote, support, or maintain” the kind of discrimination described in the law as compelling students to believe that a “person, by virtue of his or her race, color, national origin, or sex, should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment to achieve diversity, equity, or inclusion.” 

Among the 13 employees whose positions were terminated, and the 15 faculty whose administrative appointments were ended, were those of Marsha Mcgriff, senior advisor to the president, Farrah Harvey, assistant director of diversity analytics, and Wilma Rogers, executive assistant. The now-unemployed colleagues have been encouraged in the memo to apply for other positions before April 19, for which they will be given expedited consideration. They will receive 12 weeks of standard pay.

The move releases approximately $5 million that will now be allocated for faculty recruitment, in compliance with a Florida Board of Governors regulation that prohibits university spending on DEI programs. A similar mandate was issued by the Florida State Board of Education, which regulates 28 colleges in the state.

These changes are among the most recent in a series of decisions aimed at eliminating DEI programs and initiatives that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has called “hostile to academic freedom.” In a post on X, he expressed pride in Florida’s example, and his hope that “more states follow suit.”