Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is making efforts to crack down on the “indoctrination” of Florida college students by approving a new law.
DeSantis, who will likely run in 2024, approved a bill that includes a method of discovering students’ political views.
For decades, almost everyone knows that academia serves as a liberal bastion. It is filled with left-leaning faculty members and students, making conservatives feel unwelcome when they attend major colleges and universities. No affirmative action for the conservative minority exists in such institutions. This serves as a good culture-war issue that DeSantis can focus on.
In a statement to reporters, the Florida governor said that they want universities to focus on “critical thinking and academic rigor” instead of a place where “stale ideology” proliferates.
The new law would require public universities to assess their “viewpoint diversity” annually. An opinion survey on students about politics will serve as the basis of this.
Florida has the ability to require the survey. However, it doesn’t have the mandate to require students to answer it. An expert told the Washington Post that this may lead to a participation bias, in which those who feel a bias different from their opinion will likely answer it.
During the debate for the bill, Democrats questioned if institutions would likely fire or promote faculty members based on political biases, per Miami Herald.
While the new law doesn’t indicate penalties, DeSantis suggests that state funding to Florida institutions that go against it could be cut.
According to the governor, the law intends to stop colleges from turning into “hotbeds for stale ideology.”