Thursday 16 February 2023

University Of Central Florida Quietly Deletes Webpage For Race-Based Scholarship

 A Florida university quietly deleted a webpage with information about a race-based scholarship after a Twitter thread alleged the school is violating applicants’ civil rights.

The University of Central Florida (UCF) implements various initiatives rooted in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, including several scholarships that are reserved for applicants from specific races, according to a Twitter thread compiled by Manhattan Institute fellow Christopher Rufo on Tuesday. The Minority Teachers Scholarship’s webpage was apparently deleted.

The scholarship, which has been offered since the 1990s, sought to increase the number of diverse students pursuing a teaching degree, according to an archived version of its website. Applicants were required to be African American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian American/Pacific Islander or Hispanic/Latino, which Rufo alleged violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits race-based discrimination.

The scholarship awarded accepted students up to $4,000 and provided mentors, professional development and academic support, according to the archived website.

“They’re trying to hide the evidence against them,” he tweeted.

Chad Binette, assistant vice president of UCF Communications, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the webpage was removed because it no longer offers mentorship at that it is not a “university scholarship.”

“It was a scholarship advertised on the College of Community Innovation and Education website due to a connection with a mentorship program,” Binette said. “Because we no longer have the mentorship program, the website was removed last week.”

The university’s Harris Diversity Initiative Scholarship and Florida Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation scholarship also require applicants to be a member of an “underrepresented” group, according to their webpages. The former is offered in the College of Engineering & Computer Science while the latter is a National Science Foundation (NSF) project for students majoring in STEM.

“All these racially discriminatory scholarship programs violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act,” Rufo tweeted. “But administrators have operated with impunity because, until recently, no one has tried to stop them.”

UCF has 14 programs and spends more than $4 million in DEI programming, according to a report submitted to Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration. Rufo, however, alleged the report “dramatically understates the reality, which is that the ideology of left-wing racialism has been entrenched everywhere.”

UCF departments made pledges to advance DEI after George Floyd was murdered in the spring of 2020, according to Rufo’s Twitter thread. The university recommends departments require applicants to submit “Equity and Inclusion Statements” when applying for jobs and adhere to racial quotas.

“This could change,” Rufo tweeted. “Gov. DeSantis has promised to address this problem in the coming months. Legislators should pursue a maximalist position: demolishing the DEI bureaucracy and restoring the principle of colorblind equality to the Sunshine State’s public institutions.”

DeSantis pledged to defund DEI programs at Florida colleges and universities during a Jan. 31 press conference on higher education.

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