Christopher Rufo (Thomas Simonetti for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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University of Florida 'explicitly lied' to DeSantis by drastically underreporting DEI initiatives to 'conceal the radicalism inside the campus,' says governor's education appointee
July 17, 2023
The University of Florida "explicitly lied" to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) by drastically underreporting its diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives to "conceal the radicalism inside the campus," according to one of the governor's education appointees, the Daily Mail reported Sunday.
DeSantis mandated the state's colleges and universities would submit a report in January detailing all spending on DEI and critical race theory programs in an effort to prevent additional taxpayer dollars from being used to fund the controversial initiatives. In May, he signed a law prohibiting state and federal funding for those initiatives in public education to "prevent woke ideologies from continuing to co-opt our state universities and state colleges."
Conservative activists and DeSantis' education appointee, Christopher Rufo, told the Daily Mail that documents obtained via freedom of information requests revealed that the University of Florida was "lying through their teeth to the governor" when it reported supporting 30 DEI programs costing $5 million annually. According to Rufo, the university operated more than 1,000 initiatives.
Rufo accused university officials of attempting to "conceal the radicalism inside the campus" by underreporting the programs.
"I've discovered through public records requests and the threat of litigation, that the University of Florida, which is under the purview of a Red state legislature, explicitly lied to the governor, in its official response to his request about their DEI programs," Rufo told the Daily Mail.
"But I've discovered through these bombshell documents that they, in fact, had more than 1,000 separate DEI programs embedded in every facet of the university's programs and administration," he added.
The university's report revealed that it staffed 43 DEI-related positions and spent approximately $5.3 million on "diversity-related programs and expenses. State taxpayers funded $3.4 million of that total," the College Fix reported. The largest expense was a $1,085,485 salary — funded 70% by taxpayers — for the university's "Chief Diversity Officer."
Documents obtained by Rufo reportedly revealed that the school operated approximately 1,018 initiatives, including projects regarding the "legacies of slavery and oppression," "decolonizing the curriculum," and "gender pronouns initiative." The list did not disclose the total costs of these programs.
"What we see over and over in America's institutions is that the leaders have been captured by radical left wing DEI ideology," Rufo stated. "And then when they're discovered, they make every attempt to hide, obfuscate and conceal the true nature of what's happening inside their institutions."
The University of Florida declined to comment, the Daily Mail reported.
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Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.