Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently shared a memo requiring all public colleges and universities in his state to disclose annual spending on programming and staff related to promoting critical race theory and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
According to a memo released by the state Wednesday afternoon, institutions will be required to provide a description and cost of each program or activity, disclose the portion of each program that is state-funded, and provide associated staffing information.
Unsurprisingly, leftist professors are not very pleased by the prospect that their leftist activism, thinly veiled as “higher education,” may soon face increased public scrutiny.
Julian Duque, a former professor at Valencia College and current communications director for Representative Darren Soto, wrote that “DEI offices are vital and should be independent of government influence” in response to the memo on Twitter.
I have so many friends who do amazing work at @valenciacollege and @UCF’s diversity and inclusion offices…— Julian Duque (He/El) (@julianduquegr) January 5, 2023
I hope they don’t loose their jobs or are unable to perform the work that impacts students most. DEI offices are vital and should be independent of government influence. https://t.co/AQvTtZN8vP
“[Governor DeSantis] is adopting an extreme and radical agenda of censoring institutions of higher learning,” Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, a George Washington University fellow who previously represented Flordia’s 26th congressional district, wrote. “I’ve seen this happen in countries with corrupt governments where totalitarian dictators attack education as a means to oppress. We cannot allow this to happen in America,” she added.
.@GovRonDeSantis is adopting an extreme and radical agenda of censoring institutions of higher learning. I’ve seen this happen in countries with corrupt governments where totalitarian dictators attack education as a means to opress. We cannot allow this to happen in America. https://t.co/emPKi2UZJ7— Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (@DebbieforFL) January 5, 2023
Both Duque and Mucarsel-Powell, as well as dozens of other upset leftists on Twitter, accuse Governor DeSantis of betraying his limited government conservative principles. Do these professors not realize that public colleges and universities are themselves governmental institutions? Holding taxpayer-funded schools accountable is not “oppression” or “totalitarianism.” It’s a reasonable and much-needed step towards fixing America’s broken and overpriced higher education system.
Ahead of the current school year, the University of Florida gave its Young Americans for Freedom chapter a total of $500 in funding while simultaneously approving $400,000 for “racial justice” projects and $60,000 for a leftist TikTok rapper to perform an obscene song about the size of his genitalia. There is no good reason that the latter two programs should receive such significant amounts of funding. At the very least, the YAF chapter should have received a roughly equal distribution. If UF is so concerned with promoting diversity, why exclude diversity of thought?
Hopefully, more states will follow in Florida’s footsteps and adopt spending accountability policies.