How DeSantis and Florida Republicans Reshape Higher Education

Most recently, the Governor’s Chief of Staff assisted the senator. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) looked at the presidential election process at the University of Florida and ultimately helped the senator become the only finalist to lead Florida’s flagship university. The move is a move that prompted hundreds of University of Florida students to protest this week. During the summer, DeSantis also appointed Senators, who are top ally of the GOP legislature. Ray Rodrigues, Florida’s Secretary of Higher Education, can exercise enormous power over Florida’s 12 public universities. Florida Union Undergraduate Chancellor Andrew Gothard said, “They want to take over higher education, and that’s one way to do it. Gotthard is a professor at Florida Atlantic University. In recent years, conservatives have developed a hostile relationship with academia, viewing university campuses as evidence of liberalism. And, fueled by the populist movement that elected Donald Trump, many Republicans have declared war on elitism, using higher education as a symbol of what they are fighting. But DeSantis, one of the leading candidates for the 2024 presidential election, seems to have taken this concept a step further. Governors and GOP state legislators are expanding Republican efforts to reshape America’s K-12 education, a project that DeSantis has made a key pillar on his agenda. Governor allows parents to sue schools for teaching critical racial theory in classrooms, bans teachers from leading classroom discussions about gender identity and sexual orientation for young students, and focuses on racial and “social” factors Proposed legislation rejecting math books that contain elements that fit -Emotional learning.” Many of these laws, supported by Republicans, have been criticized by Democrats and teacher unions, who accuse Republicans of politicizing children’s education. But they are also amongst conservatives, especially many parents who are disappointed with the local education system. Some of DeSantis’ higher education moves have provoked backlash, including the selection of Sasse as a finalist to lead the University of Florida, whose choices are coveted and a tradition of public search for pivotal roles. A new law protecting the search for college presidents from Florida’s public records law ending the law change was made possible by a Republican majority in Florida in the state legislature, but some Democrats also supported it because it required a majority to pass. The new law, which is being criticized by Democrats and union leaders, makes all personally identifiable information classified for candidates seeking the office of university president private, but names are masked 21 days before final selections are made or when groups of finalists appear. Policymakers recognize the new law that helped the UF search for “12 outstanding and diverse” candidates, including nine incumbent presidents of major research universities and seven AAU universities. “I don’t think a U.S. senator or incumbent president of several universities would have applied without a visiting waiver,” said Rodriguez, the new higher education minister who worked for the school. “I think we’ve accomplished our goal.” The process is being questioned, and university officials want the names of other top finalists to be revealed, something the school can’t do. The Democrat Senator said, “Every student frustrated with the way UF’s finalists are chosen. “They have to understand that this was intentional.” He put weight on the student council and reduced his ability to speak.” Legislative Action The bill clearing the path for Sasse’s choice was one of several bills that changed Florida’s higher education system in 2022. Schools seek new accreditation committees by the next cycle. Ensure quality standards are met Florida Republicans, led by DeSantis, claim they have too much power over the state’s schools Florida’s new law requiring the state to find new accrediting agencies is partly due to higher education leaders and lawmakers , sparked by a fight between Florida’s long-standing accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS), in which the SACS challenged new laws restricting mail-in ballots and lockers. Federal lawsuits included starting an investigation into the University of Florida after the school blocked three professors from examining as expert witnesses.GOP-backed legislatures approved a ballot law at DeSantis’ request. Conservatives across the country, such as the National Association of Scholars, have lauded Florida’s efforts to reform “an important and woefully broken component of higher education.” Florida also faces multiple legal issues over the “Stop-WOKE” law, a groundbreaking bill that DeSantis has requested. In one of the lawsuits, the conservative freedom of speech group FIRE found that the law caused professors to It argues that it is unclear which classes are “government-approved,” or are punishable, including dismissal. According to FIRE and other critics, the new law limits professors’ ability to act as devil’s advocates and makes them Socratic. Even for discussion The numbers forbid them from a “progressive” point of view. And besides race, faculty are even concerned about talking about other topics like gender for fear of ultimately losing their jobs. “It has a really far-reaching effect on repression when I hear what I hear from my co-workers,” said Robert Cassanello, a professor at the University of Central Florida who teaches classes on the civil rights movement and liberation. And the Reconstruction Era and the plaintiff in one lawsuit. But lawmakers and state higher education officials argue that the law does not outlaw any particular curriculum. “It’s very clear what the law prohibits. No individual should be held guilty of any actions committed by others or by previous generations,” said Rodrigues, the new Higher Education Minister. “I don’t think there should be anyone who teaches that one race is superior to another and that taxpayers pay for it.” Another new state law, approved in 2021 by Florida’s Republican-led legislature, requires all state colleges and colleges to annually survey students, faculty, and staff about the “intellectual freedom” of schools. This voluntary survey is known as the largest campus survey in Korea. The law was endorsed by Florida Republican leaders who were concerned that schools were conservatively biased. I have already raised a legal issue. Upcoming Efforts Recent reports show that the DeSantis administration has bigger plans for higher education this year. The idea remained on the floor of the conference room and could come out in 2023. A draft bill, obtained this year by independent journalist Jason Garcia, allows DeSantis to focus more power on a board run by governor-appointed politicians and makes the university more dependent on funds controlled by Tallahassee’s legislators. The proposal aimed to give the 17-member board that oversees the state’s college system greater powers to initiate investigations into school principals, deny school budgets, and fire college staff. But in 2022, Florida passed legislation allowing the state to adopt rules requiring tenured professors to participate in a “comprehensive” review every five years. A University of Florida professor raised the issue when the senator visited the campus on Monday, asking how he would protect his tenure as Sas concluded his tenure as president of Midland University, a Lutheran school in Nebraska. Sasse said he would be a “hard tenure” at the university, explaining that he needed a major research school like the University of Florida, which is different from the University of Florida’s Midland, which has over 55,000 students. However, concerns about potential tenure adjustments remain a top concern among faculty across Florida while awaiting future rules from university system leaders. The draft of the proposed system period rule stated that the review should consider the faculty’s “biased education” or “brainwashing that constitutes discrimination under Florida law,” along with a history of professional conduct and unauthorized absences. However, it is unclear whether these policies will be included in the final cut of tenure rules. The Board of Directors cancels the September and October meetings and convenes the next meeting on November 9th. Gothard said Florida lawmakers are relying on “cartoon-like” representations of what’s happening in higher education to make policy decisions. He noted the very low response rates to political diversity surveys offered to students and faculty across the system as evidence that the issues raised by the State House are not widespread on campus. “Florida’s students deserve the best education possible and deserve better treatment than tinkering, meddling or harming the actions of politicians,” he added. Gary Fineout contributed to this report.
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