By Ryan Daley ©2023 Florida News Service
Tallahassee — As Gov. Ron DeSantis targets “trendy ideologies” in higher education, his administration is asking state universities to engage in activities related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and critical racial theory I’m looking for information about the resources I’m putting into .
DeSantis makes the battle against critical racial theories, which are based on the premise that racism is hard-wired into the American system, a cornerstone of his education and political agenda.
In Tuesday’s inaugural address, which kicks off his second term in office, DeSantis took aim at ideological issues on campus.
“We must ensure that our school system caters to parents and students, not to partisan interest groups; We have to make sure we’re focused on sex and the pursuit of truth,” he said in his prepared remarks.
Chris Spencer, director of DeSantis’ Office of Policy and Budget, sent a memo on Dec. 28 to Manny Diaz Jr., the school board member who oversees colleges and college systems, and Ray Rodriguez, president of the state university system. rice field.
“As the Governor’s Office prepares policy and budget proposals for the 2023 Congress, it is important to fully understand the operating costs of state agencies,” Spencer said in the memo.
The memo says universities must “provide a comprehensive list of all staff, programs and campus activities related to diversity, equity, inclusion and important race theory.”
In addition, they are directed to detailing the “expenses associated with administering each program or activity,” including a description of the activity, positions paid, and amounts provided by the state.
Diaz and Rodriguez must collect and submit the school’s responses by January 13th.
DeSantis has repeatedly clashed with Democratic lawmakers and unions representing professors and teachers over his education initiatives.
Florida Union College president Andrew Gossard said Wednesday that his union is “deeply concerned” about the Dec. 28 memo, which he called a “terrifying directive.”
“Such attempts by the governor to chill speech, silence those with whom he disagrees, change the curriculum, and silence students are an affront to democracy and the American way of life,” Florida Atlantic University said. In a statement to the Florida News Service, he said:
“For those who supported Governor DeSantis in the recent election, heed this warning: The man who silences those who disagree with him, in the classroom and beyond, will one day silence you.” You will find a reason.”
Congressman Angie Nixon, D-Jacksonville, also blew up the note in a Twitter post.
“In the so-called Free State of Florida under Governor DeSantis, the freedom to run DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) programs at public universities is next on the radar of destruction. I feel sick,” Nixon tweeted.
But Christopher Ruffo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, applauded the move.
“Governor. DeSantis is going to besiege the university’s ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’ program,” Rufo said in a tweet.