As president, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would strip accreditation from colleges and universities with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs, MSNBC reported. It is unclear, however, if he would possess the authority to do so.
DeSantis made the comments during an Oct. 4 interview with conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt.
“Part of the reason universities operate [the way] they are, is because they need to get accredited, and these accreditors are all trying to create the types of universities that we object to as conservatives,” DeSantis said. “So we’re going to have alternative accreditors. It’s going to be, instead of ‘You have to have gender studies or you have to have DEI to get accredited,’ it’ll be the opposite. We’re not going to accredit you if you have DEI and some of these other things.”
DeSantis, who has suggested drone strikes against Mexican drug cartels, said he would “totally blow up the accreditation cartel” if he became president. He said he wanted to shape schools to be like the New College of Florida, which has undergone controversial changes since he put right-wing ideologues in charge.
“What we’ve seen in New College, just by saying, I mean, basically we came in, new president, they got rid of things like CRT [critical race theory], they abolished the gender studies department, they rebranded the university as being the best classical publicly funded liberal arts college,” DeSantis said.