by Alexa Schwerha
Republican House Speaker Paul Renner of Florida requested Thursday that state public colleges and universities submit documentation about the “prevalence” of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) offices and programs on campus, Florida’s Voice reported.
The requests were delivered to every president’s office in the Florida College System and the State University System, according to Florida’s Voice. The request furthers a demand from Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Dec. 28 which required colleges and universities to submit a report detailing the amount of state funding used on DEI and critical race theory programs.
“Colleges and universities have an obligation to foster diversity of thought on their campuses and be good stewards of state dollars,” Renner said in a statement provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The Florida House of Representatives has a responsibility to understand how state resources are being allocated across state universities and colleges.”
BREAKING: House Speaker @Paul_Renner demands Florida state universities and colleges share documents about the “prevalence” of diversity, equity, and inclusion offices and programs
— Florida’s Voice (@FLVoiceNews) January 13, 2023
The requested information includes the names, jobs, job descriptions and salaries of DEI staff at public colleges and universities as well as “a copy of every contract between the University and a DEI Contractor” since Jan. 1, 2020, Florida’s Voice reported. It also requests documentation outlining “assessments, proposals, or recommendations relating to DEI” from DEI offices as well as all documents and communication from DEI offices about hiring, compensation, promotions and tenure.
The letters also requested all communication and documents from DEI offices about “the proposed or potential discipline, censure, or termination of any faculty member” and communication from the DEI Faculty Committee about curriculum.
“I commend the great work of the Board of Governors in bringing our universities to a consistent number one ranking among the states as well as our state colleges for providing needed workforce skills,” Renner said. “We will maintain our top rankings by staying focused on the knowledge, skills and research that higher education should provide. However, we compromise higher education if we follow other states that allow DEI staff to act as political commissars over campus life. We intend to end this improper influence and re-focus on pathways to success for our graduates.”
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