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HomeGeneralFlorida’s University System Is Suffering Under DeSantis Tenure

Florida’s University System Is Suffering Under DeSantis Tenure

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University Campus with Students
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These educators have had enough!

The American Association of University Professors released a report this month. And it alleges that DeSantis’s tenure has not been the best. 

The report says things like academic freedom and independent governance have been under political and ideological assault in Florida’s university system since Ron DeSantis became Florida’s governor.  

The perceived threat to Florida’s higher education system got more prominent this year. This is thanks to partisan DeSantis supporters’ takeover of New College of Florida in Sarasota. 

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New College has become a focal point of a campaign by DeSantis. Sources have certified he is running for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. He hopes to be able to rid higher education embroiled in what he calls left-leaning “woke” indoctrination on campuses.

The report also highlights how the appointments of GOP politicians to the boards that govern Florida’s higher education system have made them overly agreeable to the whims of the Republican governor. 

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A veteran University of Florida faculty member told the AAUP committee that previous board members, regardless of party, knew their role was to ensure that the universities they led were thriving. 

However, the current group seems more concerned with their relationships with the governor. “At the same time, recent legislation has expanded the power of the board of governors and, to a lesser extent, of local boards of trustees to dictate policies to campus administrations and faculties,” the report said.

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In addition to concerns about Florida’s higher education system is the new law the Republican-controlled Legislature passed this year. The statute requires a review of tenured professors every five years. It also forces the accreditation of state universities by a different agency each accreditation cycle. 

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Tenured professors usually get indefinite academic appointments to promote academic freedom. However, conservative officials in republican states across the U.S. have been reviewing whether there should be limits.

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