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DeSantis follows up busing immigrants with revamp of left leaning public colleges?

DeSantis is saying to the Dems if you don't secure the border then you get to share the economic and social consequences.


Likewise, a large share of the US feels US colleges are becoming places to indoctrinate the young with far-left progressive doctrine. Do I believe the latter? Colleges definitely lean left. Should we get rid of those professors? No! We should provide other points of view so students can hear both sides and learn to think for themselves. Yup!


In the meantime, DeSantis is shrewdly preparing to run for the Presidency and positioning himself as someone who's the logical alternative to Trump.


New College of Florida’s President Fired Amid Shake-Up

Earlier in the day, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he sought to defund diversity programs in Florida’s higher-education system


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, has made education an essential part of his governing agenda.


By Arian Campo-Flores, WSJ

Updated Jan. 31, 2023 7:50 pm ET


The board of trustees at the New College of Florida, a small liberal-arts college in Sarasota that Gov. Ron DeSantis has targeted for an overhaul as part of his higher-education agenda, fired its president and named the state’s former education commissioner as the interim replacement.


In early January, the Republican governor named six new trustees to the 13-member board, including Christopher Rufo, a conservative activist known for his battles against critical-race theory. The governor’s administration has criticized the 700-student college for what it views as a left-wing ideological focus that is out of touch with the state’s values.


Mr. DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, has made education an essential part of his governing agenda. He has pledged to overhaul higher education in Florida and strip it of what he considers “woke ideology,” which his representatives have defined as a belief that the U.S. suffers from systemic injustice.


At Tuesday’s board meeting—the first including the new members—the trustees voted to terminate the employment agreement of President Patricia Okker, who held the job for about a year and a half. Mr. Rufo had previously suggested changes to the university’s leadership among his proposals for the institution, and another new trustee, Jason “Eddie” Speir, had specifically called for Ms. Okker’s removal.


The trustees tapped Richard Corcoran, who was education commissioner for more than three years under Mr. DeSantis and previously a state House speaker, as interim president. Because he isn’t available to assume the position until March, they named a New College chief of staff to the position temporarily. They plan to conduct a formal search for a permanent new president.


Mr. Rufo said during the meeting Tuesday that given the mandate from Mr. DeSantis, “New leadership is the expectation.”


The chair of the board of trustees, Mary Ruiz, also stepped down from that leadership position and was replaced by one of the new trustees appointed by Mr. DeSantis, Debra Jenks, a lawyer and New College alumnus.


Members of the audience repeatedly interrupted the proceedings to express displeasure at the changes. In the public-comment period at the start of the meeting, numerous critics of the shake-up assailed the changes as disruptive for students and a threat to the college’s welcoming environment and academic tradition, with its focus on interdisciplinary scholarship and in-depth research projects.


At a rally on campus earlier, some students held signs reading “Educational Freedom” and “Hands Off Higher Ed.”


“This last month has felt a little dystopian to me, with people who know nothing about this school trying to tell us what we should learn and who we are,” said Madison Markham, a fourth-year student. “This is particularly an attack on academic offerings centered around queerness and race and ethnicity.”


Earlier in the day, Mr. DeSantis proposed legislation to revamp parts of the state’s public higher-education system, including barring funding for diversity, equity and inclusion programs and tightening review of faculty tenure.


Speaking at the State College of Florida’s Bradenton campus, Mr. DeSantis said he sought to counter what he called a push on U.S. college campuses to use higher education to impose ideological conformity and stir political activism.


“Instead, we need our higher-education system to focus on promoting academic excellence, the pursuit of truth, and to give students the foundation so they can think for themselves,” he said.


In a news release Tuesday, the governor said the curriculum would be aligned with “the values of liberty and the Western tradition.”


Under the proposal Mr. DeSantis detailed Tuesday, ahead of the March start of the Florida legislative session, the public-university system’s board of governors and the state board of education would review and realign certain core courses. The aim, as laid out by his office, would be to ensure they “provide historically accurate, foundational and career-relevant education, not suppress or distort significant historical events or include curriculum that teaches identity politics.”


The governor proposed forbidding institutions from using any funding to support initiatives relating to diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI, critical-race theory and other programs he considers discriminatory. His measure also would prohibit DEI statements in the hiring process. And it would allow institutions’ presidents and boards of trustees to conduct post-tenure review of faculty members at any time.


In his remarks, Mr. DeSantis highlighted new institutes at some state universities that are focused on constitutional and civic education. He said his budget recommendations for the next fiscal year would include additional money for such centers. He also proposed funding to hire new faculty and provide scholarships at the New College, as well as money for faculty recruitment more broadly at other state universities.


Write to Arian Campo-Flores at arian.campo-flores@dowjones.com

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