The Board of Governors (BOG) of the State University System of Florida have proposed a regulation banning university expenditures on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). This proposed regulation is open for public comment until Thurs., 23 Nov. 

Before 23 Nov., please speak out in opposition to this proposed regulation by clicking the ‘Submit a Comment’ link under the Chapter 9: Property and Finance heading on this page.

This proposed regulation is an affront to the values that this union and we, as faculty, hold dear. It introduces destructive and cumbersome barriers to various forms of grant funding on which many of us depend. And it contributes to the atmosphere of fear and uncertainty that has already made life so challenging for ourselves, our colleagues, and our students.

We may not be able to stop this regulation – though, of course, we will try. But, by speaking out, we will, at least, establish a record of opposition. Without your public comments, the BOG will be justified in saying there was no opposition to this proposed regulation. 

In addition, we encourage faculty to review and provide feedback on proposed changes to General Education requirements (available on this page under Chapter 8: Educational Delivery). While this proposed regulation may appear less obviously destructive than the DEI ban, it represents a blatant viewpoint restriction and has resulted in the removal of at least one sociology course statewide. It deserves careful scrutiny and extensive public feedback.

All of these damaging provisions of SB266, including a dangerous neutral arbitration ban (which is past the public comment stage and was adopted by the BoG on Nov 8), are being challenged in state and federal courts on the grounds of constitutionality and contract impairment. Although motions for preliminary injunctions on some of these provisions have faced difficulties, they continue to make their way through the courts.

Talking points

Here are some talking points supporting the union’s position on BoG regulation 9.016.  If you agree with the union, please use your own words to convey these arguments.

  • BoG Regulation 9.016 requirements that university employees not “advocate for diversity, equity” or “Promote or engage in political or social activism” are so vague as to restrict instruction in numerous areas traditionally taught in our university.
  • This restriction of university instruction could have a massive impact on our students’ freedom to learn and be prepared for 21st century jobs.
  • The wording is so vague that a huge swathe of behaviors could be be interpreted as noncompliance with 9.016, leading to termination of my and my colleagues’ employment
  • The wording is so vague that if I wanted to avoid discipline, I would steer clear of anything that could possibly be interpreted as “dividing society,” which is the textbook definition of chilling speech.
  • Because I am paid by state funds, BoG Regulation 9.016 violates my academic freedom to say something that could be interpreted by someone as “dividing society.” 
  • This proposed regulation prevents my participation in shared governance of the university, in voicing my opposition to the laws as implemented in university regulations and seeking to change them. 
  • If this regulation is adopted, faculty may be shut out of applying for many federal grants. This is a revenue stream for our universities. It is also important for faculty and student development and the overall prestige of Florida’s universities.