AAUP President Irene Mulvey on DeSantis’s Signing of Anti-DEI Bill

AAUP president Irene Mulvey issued the following statement today. 

Governor DeSantis’s signing of anti-DEI SB 266 today further cements the decline of Florida’s higher education system by enshrining into law culture-war-inspired censorship that will have a disastrous impact on students, faculty, and the future of education in the state.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion programs provide essential services for all sorts of students and help to facilitate an equitable and supportive learning environment for all. These programs are crucial for building a welcoming campus community that will allow for the open inquiry, intellectual exploration and maintenance of academic freedom that is vital in a free society. Research shows that students with a high sense of inclusion and belonging have increased academic motivation, which is correlated to student achievement. There is no evidence that DEI programs in any way inhibit the academic success of those from historically advantaged groups.

The AAUP has chronicled with growing alarm political interference into the affairs of Florida’s colleges and universities that has threatened academic freedom and shared governance in those institutions and undermined the very role of higher education as essential to a functioning democracy. We have appointed a special committee to review the pattern of politically and racially motivated attacks on higher education. The full report will be published in the fall but expect a progrerss report from the Special Committee to be published in the coming weeks. 

Publication Date: 
Tuesday, May 16, 2023