Florida University System Bans Funding Political ‘Activism,’ Programs That Segregate By Race Or Sex


Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Brandon Poulter Contributor
Font Size:

The State University System of Florida’s Board of Governors approved regulations Thursday that will prohibit using state funds for race- or sex-based programs, according to Inside Higher Ed.

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 266 into law in June, which prohibits the funding of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) for higher education, in the state. The new regulations defines DEI as “any program, campus activity, or policy that classifies individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation” and promotes different treatments of people based on those factors, according to Inside Higher Ed. (RELATED: Wisconsin Republicans Pass Bill Banning Race-Based Criteria For Some College Grants)

The new law prohibits public universities in the state from using state funding for any programs concerning “diversity, equity and inclusion” or “political or social activism.” The law allows student organizations, paid for by student fees, to operate “notwithstanding any speech or expressive activity by such organizations which would otherwise violate this subsection.”

MIAMI, FLORIDA – NOVEMBER 08: Republican presidential candidates (L-R) Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie leave the stage at the end of the NBC News Republican Presidential Primary Debate at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County on November 8, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

“What this does is reorient our universities back to their traditional mission and part of that traditional mission is to treat people as individuals, not to try to divvy them up based on any type of superficial characteristics,” DeSantis said after signing the bill in May.

Other Republican states are inquiring into DEI as well.

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill outlawing public funding for DEI at public colleges and universities.

The University of South Carolina rebranded their DEI efforts following an inquiry by the legislature. Wisconsin Republicans withheld pay raises for Wisconsin university system employees and voted to cut the system’s budget by $32 million, the amount it spends on DEI every two years.

The University of Arkansas discontinued its DEI department and shifted employees to other departments in June, according to Higher Ed Dive. Republican Arkansas state Sen. Dan Sullivan is leading an inquiry into DEI programs at Arkansas universities, he told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“This board has opted to impose more restrictive and harmful burdens on Florida students, going beyond what [the DeSantis] administration’s ‘slate of hate’ was able to impact last legislative session and exceeding its oversight authority,” Quinn Diaz, public policy associate for the LGBTQ+ advocacy nonprofit Equality Florida, told Inside Higher Ed.

DeSantis and the Board of Governors did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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