The state university system’s Board of Governors on Wednesday will consider proposals by the University of Central Florida to close three campuses no longer in use. The proposals involve the South Orlando Campus, the UCF Leesburg campus and the UCF Palm Bay campus.
Florida universities, which have been in the center of national polarization for months, have seen a mixed bag in U.S. News & World Report college rankings, with both positive and negative views and some changes in the methodology. Florida has been bombarded by the anti-woke rhetoric and action of Gov. Ron DeSantis and conservative politicians who are pushing higher education reforms and policies such as post-tenure reviews that have been blasted by faculty unions.
The new Classic Learning Test has been pushed by conservative politicians and religious activists as an alternative to the SAT and ACT, and will now be accepted as a measure of admission in Florida colleges and universities. Of the 12 private institutions in Florida that now accept the CLT, 11 are religiously affiliated.
New College of Florida officials on Thursday interviewed three final candidates vying to become the school’s next permanent president, including current Interim President Richard Corcoran. The trustees also interviewed Tyler Fisher, an associate professor of modern languages and literature and a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Central Florida, and Robert Gervasi, a former interim president at the University of Mount Union in Ohio.
Florida Republicans are scared of higher education. Colleges. Universities. Known hotbeds of wokery, Marxism, and foreign languages, they should instead focus on the one thing that matters to real Americans: training future cogs in the uber-capitalist machine and sports.
New College has been filling positions that account for nearly a third of the school’s faculty. DeSantis appointed a slate of conservative members to the school’s Board of Trustees early this year.
Florida’s new law forbidding the teaching of systemic racism is the most extreme example in a series of recent U.S. state bills that critics call “educational gag orders.” The tactics that Gov. Ron DeSantis is using to censor the teaching of American history in Florida look a lot like those seen in the illiberal democracies of Israel, Turkey, Russia and Poland.
The professor, Joy Alonzo, an expert on the opioids crisis, was placed on paid administrative leave and investigated, raising questions about the extent of political interference in higher education, particularly in health-related matters.
Who will benefit from the Supreme Court’s recent ruling striking down race as a factor in college admissions? Mostly, just wealthy white people. That’s because the ruling refused to touch so-called “legacy admissions.” Colleges are free to continue giving preferential treatment to the children of alumni, donors, and other well-connected, privileged people.
The New College of Florida Board of Trustees on Thursday moved forward with a plan to request $2 million in funding from the state Legislature to set up a “Freedom Institute” aimed at combating “cancel culture” in higher education. The bulk of the $2 million request would go toward hiring “scholars to work and teach” on the New College campus.