Another State Follows DeSantis’ Lead And Requests Data On University Diversity, Equity And Inclusion Spending

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Alexa Schwerha Contributor
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South Carolina lawmakers followed Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration’s lead and requested data about how much money public colleges and universities spend to support Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programming and staff, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The legislators requested the 33 public colleges and universities submit information about how much is spent on salaries and operating costs to make campus “diverse, equitable, and inclusive,” according to a letter obtained by The Chronicle of Higher Education. The request makes South Carolina the third state to request information on higher education DEI spending. (RELATED: DeSantis Pledges To Defund Diversity, Equity And Inclusion At Public Universities)

The South Carolina legislators defined DEI as “attempts to take an official institutional policy on concepts such as unconscious or implicit bias, cultural appropriation, and microaggressions,” the Chronicle reported. It also requests data on the amount spent on trainings or activities geared toward a particular race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

The exterior of the South Carolina State House is seen on January 29, 2023 in Columbia, South Carolina.

The exterior of the South Carolina State House is seen on January 29, 2023 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Rusty L. Monhollon, president and executive director of the state’s Commission on Higher Education, told the Chronicle he is unaware of which legislators sent the letter and that they are looking for an overview rather than a complete audit. He forwarded the request to higher education leaders on Tuesday, who will have until Feb. 23 to meet the legislators’ request.

“We have requests for information the entire year, so we’re treating it as just another request at this time,” Monhollon reportedly said.

The DeSantis administration ordered the Florida College System (FCS) and State University System of Florida (SUS) to send a report detailing how much state funding was used to support DEI or Critical Race Theory (CRT) programming. State universities spent approximately $15 million from state funds to advance DEI on campus, according to the SUS report, but the administration recently alleged the number was “under-reported.”

Ryan Walters, Oklahoma superintendent and education secretary, made a request to public colleges and universities on Jan. 24 for data on DEI spending in the past decade. The amount tallied over $10 million in the past fiscal year.

Monhollon did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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