BOCA RATON, Fla. — The sweeping proposals outlined Tuesday by Gov. Ron DeSantis for Florida's state universities have some saying the governor is simply playing politics with higher education.
"I think the governor has found a sweet spot to get media and his base talking, and I think it says more about the campaign he's going to try and run when he announces his candidacy for the president," Richard Ryles of the Palm Beach County Black Caucus said.
DeSantis announced he wants to end all campus programs on critical race theory and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), saying he is pushing back on the liberal elite.
The governor is also calling for a post-tenure review of faculty, giving more hiring control to school presidents and boards, banning political filters and DEI statements in the hiring process.
"If he is going to attack diversity and inclusion for employment, he is restricting the talent pool that we can attract to Florida universities and appears to be a race to the bottom," Ryles said.
Hannah Burrell, the editor-in-chief of the Black-run student newspaper Paradigm Press at Florida Atlantic University, said she is also concerned.
"What's going to happen next in terms of all the stuff that's changing with curriculum and our agendas and what the professors will be teaching as well?" Burrell asked.
The state's university system said in a statement that they expressed support for the governor's proposals, particularly the $100 million being committed to faculty recruitment and retention.