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Valencia College Strips ‘Equity’ From Strategic Plan

March 6, 2023

The Board of Trustees at Valencia College stripped the word “equity” from the college’s strategic plan at a meeting last week, amid claims it is too politically charged, according to Florida Politics.

Valencia College president Kathleen Plinske said that the college would change the phrase “advance equity” to “creating the right conditions” to help students succeed, Florida Politics reported. “It has been suggested that the word ‘equity’ may be interpreted to signal efforts to lower standards and to limit academic freedom and free expression,” Plinske said. She added that she was worried the phrase might prompt misunderstanding about the college’s aims.

The change was approved unanimously by the trustees without discussion, according to Florida Politics.

The move comes amid a larger battle being waged against diversity, equity and inclusion policies by Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who has vowed to defund such efforts, and legislators intent on carrying out that promise.

The Department of Education has designated Valencia a Hispanic-serving institution. As of fall 2021, the college’s student body was 40 percent Hispanic, according to the most recent data available from ED’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

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Josh Moody

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