On Tuesday (January 31), DeSantis announced plans to ban colleges from spending money on DEI programs in hopes that such initiatives “wither on the vine” without funding, per CNN.
“It really serves as an ideological filter, a political filter,” the governor said Tuesday during a speech in Bradenton, Florida.
In a press release, the governor’s office vowed to prevent universities from funding DEI programs, which they said are “discriminatory.”
DEI programs have been implemented in colleges across the country, aiming to promote multiculturalism and encourage students of all backgrounds to feel comfortable on campus. The University of Florida, for example, has a “Chief Diversity Officer,” a “Center for Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement," and an “Office for Accessibility and Gender Equity,” all initiatives that would be banned under DeSantis' proposed legislation.
The DEI ban is a top priority for DeSantis’ higher education agenda, which he announced in Bradenton, 15 minutes away from New College of Florida, where the governor enacted a new board that is restructuring the school into his conservative vision for high education.
The new board met on Tuesday, prompting protests on campus.