DeSantis Mounts Anti-Woke Offensive At Public Florida College

Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) nominated six candidates for the New College of Florida Board of Trustees in the hopes that the public liberal arts school would scrap controversial ideologies.

DeSantis, who entered a second term as chief executive of the Sunshine State this week after a landslide reelection victory in November, appointed Christopher Rufo, Matthew Spalding, Charles Kesler, Mark Bauerlein, Debra Jenks, and Jason “Eddie” Speir to the institution’s Board of Trustees, according to a press release from the Executive Office of the Governor. The nominees must be confirmed by the Florida Senate, which is presently controlled by Republicans.

Rufo, a fellow with the Manhattan Institute, is an activist who has opposed Critical Race Theory at the state and federal levels, while Spalding is a constitutional government professor at Hillsdale College. Kesler is the editor of the Claremont Review of Books and a professor at Claremont-McKenna College; Bauerlein is a professor of English at Emory University; Jenks is an attorney and serves on the Fourth District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission; and Speir is the chairman of the Inspiration Academy, a high school in southwestern Florida.

“Like so many colleges and universities in America, this institution has been completely captured by a political ideology that puts trendy, truth-relative concepts above learning,” DeSantis Communications Director Taryn Fenske contended in a statement provided to The Daily Wire. “In particular, New College of Florida has reached a moment of critical mass, wherein low student enrollment and other financial stresses have emerged from its skewed focus and impractical course offerings.”

The move comes days after DeSantis asked public university administrators to provide a detailed account of expenditures related to diversity, equity, and inclusion programs as members of the Florida legislature consider various budget proposals. For each initiative, officials were instructed to include a brief description of the program, the number of staff positions associated with the program, the total funding used to support the program, and the portion of the funding that came from taxpayer dollars.

“As Governor DeSantis stated in his second inaugural speech: ‘We must ensure that our institutions of higher learning are focused on academic excellence and the pursuit of truth.’ Starting today, the ship is turning around,” DeSantis Press Secretary Bryan Griffin said in a statement provided to The Daily Wire. “New College of Florida, under the governor’s new appointees, will be refocused on its founding mission of providing a world-class quality education with an exceptional focus on the classics.”

DeSantis prioritized education reform in his first term, drawing criticism from leftist media outlets and large corporations. Disney was rebuked by customers last year for opposing legislation that prohibited instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity for students between kindergarten and third grade, prompting lawmakers to revoke special tax and regulatory privileges the entertainment conglomerate formerly enjoyed in central Florida.

DeSantis has also endorsed legislation that explicitly condemns teaching the notion that one racial group is morally superior or inferior to another. “No one should be instructed to feel as if they are not equal or shamed because of their race,” he commented. “In Florida, we will not let the far-left woke agenda take over our schools and workplaces. There is no place for indoctrination or discrimination in Florida.”

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