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This College Just Became the First in Nation to Abolish Its DEI Bureaucracy

David Mercer

Gov. Ron DeSantis has emerged as one of the biggest cultural warriors conservatives have in office, vowing that “Florida is where woke goes to die.” With the Republican governor, it’s not just rhetoric, either. He’s taken action in academia, business, law enforcement and more. 

Understanding the importance of what Manhattan Institute senior fellow Christopher Rufo describes as “institutional recapture,” DeSantis in January set about reshaping the New College of Florida by appointing six members to its board—including Rufo—to majorly transform the small progressive institution.

After firing the liberal arts college’s president, the new board homed in on addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

The school has now become the first in the nation to abolish its DEI office, which will save about $250,000 per year. 

The 9-3 vote eliminates the college’s Office of Outreach and Inclusive Excellence, which has four full-time staffers, three of whom will be reassigned to other campus jobs. 

The development at New College comes as DeSantis has backed legislation that would, among other things, ban DEI and critical race theory initiatives at public universities. 

“In Florida, we will build off of our higher education reforms by aligning core curriculum to the values of liberty and the Western tradition, eliminating politicized bureaucracies like DEI, increasing the amount of research dollars for programs that will feed key industries with talented Florida students, and empowering presidents and boards of trustees to recruit and hire new faculty, including by dedicating record resources for faculty salaries,” DeSantis said. 


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