Governor Ron DeSantis’ hostile takeover of New College of Florida is presenting a case study of what Republican governance looks like. After DeSantis installed six nonpartisan trustees to rebuild the liberal arts college in his image, he replaced the college’s president with an interim president at double the salary. faculty fled, Before the college could staff all the courses it taught, Christopher Rufo—perhaps the most infamous of DeSantis’ new trustees—began to move End Gender Studies Program in college. This is all part of the DeSantis plan, and it is terrible in its own right, but it has left New College in chaos, showing that Republicans don’t care about anything other than furthering their ideological agenda.

Faculty continues to leave, so proceed ongoing course cancellations, Some students say they were not informed when classes they were enrolled in were cancelled. In some cases, cancellations make it difficult or impossible for students to find the classes they need to complete their major. Rufo recently written In The New York Times:

For much of the classical liberal tradition, the purpose of the university was to generate scholarship in pursuit of the true, the good, and the beautiful. The university was conceived as a home for a community of scholars who studied a variety of disciplines, but were united in a shared commitment to inquiry, research, and debate, all of which served the highest rather than partisan immediate interests. were directed in the direction of goodness. Politics.

Aside from Rufo’s ridiculous vision of, of all people, claiming to be “pursuing the highest good rather than the immediate interests of partisan politics”, it is an interesting question as to how the highest good is served by college students taking neurobiology. .

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“These are young adults who are not looking to fill a semester with high school electives. It’s not like, ‘Oh, the chorus is closed, let me just take that art class,'” the mother of a student transferring to Hampshire College told Inside Higher Ed. “There are classes [students] need to move on to move on [their] Further studies… It was absolutely amazing that a college told us, just pick something else. No.”

As faculty are leaving, students are leaving: Hampshire College Students in good standing were allowed to transfer to New College at their current tuition rate, and Michelle Goldbert of The New York Times reported that 35 students were transferring for the fall and another 30 have inquired about the spring semester. This is among fewer than 700 students at New College before the DeSantis attacks – and we don’t know how many have left for other options.

Oh, but New College continues to grow up despite the departure. The interim president’s goals include increasing attendance and building an athletics program, and he is doing both at once by bringing in a large number of new athletes. New College entered 100 student athletes for this fall despite having no real athletic facilities and not being a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. For some reason, 70 of the athletes are baseball players. In contrast, the University of Florida’s Division 1 team has 37 players. It is unclear exactly what the plans are for sports at New College: “According to public records, women’s basketball and men’s soccer had only one athlete each, while women’s soccer had six athletes enrolled.” Sarasota Herald-TribuneStephen Walker reported last month.

Walker reported that athletes received a disproportionate number of $10,000 merit scholarships, while contributing to an incoming class with lower GPAs and SAT and ACT scores than the previous year’s class. Goldberg continued,

… Last week, New College’s interim president, Richard Corcoran, a longtime Republican politician who served as DeSantis’ education commissioner, sent a memo to faculty members calling for new courses in finance, communications and sports psychology. The chiefs proposed, “which many will like our newly entered athlete.” As Amy Reed, a freshman college professor of French who directs the gender studies department, said when I spoke with her last weekend, “Let me tell you how sports psychology, finance, and communication fit into a classical liberal arts model.” How do you fit together?”

A set of merit scholarships and new majors aren’t all the athletes are getting. There has been a sudden housing shortage at New College, with housing contracts that were finalized in April being canceled over the summer and juniors and seniors in particular being denied the apartments in which to live. were supposed. Contrary to what you might expect, it’s not like Rufo made the decision that campus housing has been too woke and closed—it’s that the administration has built on existing commitments to bring back students. Has decided to prioritize its precious new cadre of student-athletes. To handle the pressure, the college has actually rented out entire Home2Suites at the Hilton Sarasota Bradenton Airport. If staying in a hotel like your college dorm sounds like a hotel, consider the following: It’s an airport hotel about a mile from campus, forcing students to either walk across a busy highway in such an area where crime is considered a concern or have to take an hourly shuttle. Stop running at 11 pm and there won’t be much space left anyway. No food will be served at the hotel and no cooking is allowed in the rooms – students will have to go to the campus for food. No more than two people will be allowed in a room at a time, so forget about study groups. So that all athletes can get the best that New College has to offer.

Why such a huge focus on athletes? It is quite clear that they will not be raising New College’s national profile by bringing home trophies any time soon. Goldberg got an answer from Rufo: Athletes are more male than New College’s recent student population, and he views the more male student population as more conservative.

“This student population is extremely unbalanced and it has created all kinds of cultural problems,” Rufo said. The presence of so many more women than men, he said, has turned New College into “what many call a social justice ghetto”. The new leadership, she said, is “rebalancing the student body ratio” in hopes of eventually achieving gender parity.

As a partisan move, this is virtually affirmative action for male athletes. And Rufo, DeSantis and their gang will continue to talk about how they are trying to upend education and remove ideology from Florida’s colleges and universities. Nothing these people say should ever be believed – except when Rufo turns into a B-movie villain and decides to brag about what he’s up to. When Rufo is telling you that he’s going to rebrand everything about race as “critical race theory” as a strategy, believe him. Laugh and say “You mean white, conservative supremacy” when he claims to care about the “classical liberal tradition.” And laughs whenever he or DeSantis tries to claim effective leadership or even minimal competence, and points to New College students walking down the highway to eat breakfast at a school that does not offer them the necessary courses to complete their major studies.


What happened while we were all on vacation? Something about Donald Trump being impeached not once, but twice! Also in the news: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ campaign fails. There is so much happening!


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