Liberal Academics Freak that DeSantis is ‘Reshaping’ Higher Education
A new article penned by Politico lays out how Florida Republicans and Governor Ron DeSantis are pushing back against liberal bias in academia and potentially pioneering education policy for the rest of the country.
The article is mainly filled with liberal politicians and academics complaining that the state government has placed restrictions on their ability to impose an agenda on students and is attempting to foster ideological diversity in higher education.
Andrew Gothard, the President of the United Faculty of Florida union and an open Democratic partisan, lamented the decision by the University of Florida to make Senator Ben Sasse, R-Nb., a finalist in their search for a new President.
“They want to take over higher education, and this is one way to do that,” Gothard said.
Gothard openly supports Democratic politicians on his public Twitter feed and recently said that Governor DeSantis represents an “existential threat” to higher education in Florida.
“It is no exaggeration to say that the DeSantis administration represents an existential threat to higher education in the state of Florida,” said J. Andrew Gothard, the statewide president of the United Faculty of Florida.https://t.co/runcVXyLwU
— Marginalized Outlier (@MarginalizedO) July 6, 2022
For his part, State Senator Ray Rodrigues, R-Fl. who was appointed by DeSantis to serve as Florida’s chancellor for higher education, said that he did not believe the University of Florida would have received applications from people who were as qualified as Sasse if it was not for a recent law that kept their names private until finalists were selected.
“We would have never gotten a sitting U.S. senator or multiple sitting presidents at … universities to apply without the search exemption,” said Rodrigues, the new higher education chancellor, who for years led efforts to pass the legislation. “I think it’s accomplished its goal.”
Democratic state Sen. Lori Berman, who opposed the legislation, said the process was ‘draped in secrecy.’
“Every student frustrated with the way UF’s presidential finalist was chosen should understand that this unfolded exactly by design,” Berman said. “Florida Republicans passed a law to drape the search process in secrecy, giving you, the student body, less ability to weigh in and speak out.”
Every student frustrated with the way UF’s presidential finalist was chosen should understand that this unfolded exactly by design.
Florida Republicans passed a law to drape the search process in secrecy, giving you, the student body, less ability to weigh in and speak out. https://t.co/31rJvwuKGP
— Senator Lori Berman (@loriberman) October 10, 2022
Democratic politicians and academics have also criticized the ‘Stop WOKE Act’, finding an unlikely ally in the normally conservative-leaning Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, which is participating in a lawsuit opposing the bill.
The law unlawfully regulates discussions of advantages of a race or sex, unconscious biases, and whether virtues like hard work and racial colorblindness are racist.
In restricting what ideas may be considered in college, Florida’s leaders ran headlong into the First Amendment.
— FIRE (@TheFIREorg) September 6, 2022
Florida’s new Chancellor of the State University System of Florida defended the law, saying that taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be used to promote discriminatory ideas about race.
“It’s very clear what the act prohibits – you can’t place guilt on individuals for actions committed by others or by prior generations,” Rodrigues, the new higher education chancellor, said. “I would submit we should not have anyone teaching that one race is superior to another and be paid by taxpayers for that.”
Additional stories you may want to read: