Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is committed to higher education in Florida. He clearly sees it as a winning campaign issue as he prepares for the Republican presidential primary, and he’s no doubt right that there’s a lot of conservative anger out there (some (much?) justified) about the state of American higher education.
The way he approached the problem is cause for alarm, however, for those who care about academic freedom. I have a new article in The Dispatch about various Florida moves so far.
From the piece:
DeSantis has taken a machine-gun approach to conservative complaints about higher education, scattering bullets everywhere in the hope that some might hit the mark, without worrying too much about collateral damage. Given the flurry of activity, mixed motives, and heated rhetoric, it is also not surprising that his critics have not always been too careful to distinguish real threats to academic freedom from mere policy disagreements. Regardless, the risk to free testing at Florida State Universities under DeSantis is real.
Read the whole thing here.
I’m also on the latest episode of The Remnant with Jonah Goldberg talking about Hamline, Florida and the general state of free research in higher education.
Check it out.
Also some significant recent pieces in Florida that are not mine.
Cathy Young on the rampart
Don Moynihan on his subplot
Daniel Golden at ProPublica
Emma Pettit of the Chronicle of Higher Education has done excellent reporting on the developments in Florida