Florida Professors Circle The Wagons Around CRT, Diversity Programs

  • Post category:News / US News

  • Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office ordered Wednesday that all state universities submit information about how their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and critical race theory (CRT) programs are funded.
  • Professor’s rushed to Twitter to defend diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and critical race theory (CRT) programs.
  • “If you support what DeSantis is doing here, imagine for a second how this kind of power might be used by Democrats in blue states to censor conservative professors and students,” Nick Seabrook, University of North Florida professor, tweeted.

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Professors took to Twitter to rally support around diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and critical race theory (CRT) being pushed in the classroom after Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration ordered all universities to disclose how these programs are funded.

Florida’s Office of Budget and Policy sent a memo to state universities on Dec. 28 requesting information about how state resources were used to benefit DEI and CRT programs. The requested information included descriptions of any programs, activities or positions pertaining to DEI or CRT.

Nick Seabrook, University of North Florida professor, tweeted his response to the Governor’s office request Wednesday, in which he stated the order lacked a specific definition of DEI or CRT. He claimed that the order is an attempt to stiflefree speech and academic freedom and “punish institutions that deviate from the administration’s approved curriculum.”

“If you support what DeSantis is doing here, imagine for a second how this kind of power might be used by Democrats in blue states to censor conservative professors and students. Constitutionally protected speech in public universities should be off limits, period,” he tweeted Thursday.

Seabrook implored alumni and donors to call university president’s to express opposition to DeSantis’ order, unifying around the claim that DeSantis “wants to pit us against each other in a race to the bottom for funding.”

Emilio Bruna, University of Florida professor, said that the order will make it harder for universities to recruit faculty, staff and students if they are forced to cut back on DEI/CRT programming. He also accused DeSantis Thursday of using universities to “advance his presidential ambitions.”

Criticism also rained down from Florida politicos. Democratic state Rep. Ashley Gantt, who wrote in her Twitter bio that she is a “former educator,” tweeted Wednesday that the order is an attempt to “remediate” history and slammed it as “censorship.”

Julian Duque, press assistant for Democratic Rep. Darern Soto, tweeted Thursday that DEI offices are “vital and should be independent of government influence.” He praised the office staffers for doing “amazing work.”

Out-of-state professors also rushed to defend DEI and CRT in the classroom. Courtney Young, University of Houston professor, tweeted that “DeSantis is a horrible person” and Jonathan Feingold, Boston University law professor, claimed that “if cancel culture were a memo, it would look something like this.”

Seabrook, Bruna, Gantt, Duque, Young and Feingold did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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