WASHINGTON, DC -- An association of university professors established a special committee to look at Florida higher education. That committee is now sounding alarms.
The committee's preliminary report concludes that public colleges and universities "face a politically and ideologically driven assault unparalleled in US history" that it says "threatens the survival of meaningful higher education in the state."
It points to the changes at New College in Sarasota and laws passed this year by the Legislature and signed by the governor, including the one banning "diversity, equity and inclusion" programs.
AAUP accuses state university administrators of "failing to contest" actions by the Legislature and Governor DeSantis and of being "complicit" and supporting them. It says administrators who stay in the system are "pawns in DeSantis' corrupt patronage."
Henry Reichman, a professor emeritus who chairs the AAUP's committee on academic freedom, accuses college administrators of being "cowardly" and "complicit" for not pushing back against the agenda of Governor DeSantis and the legislature.
The committee is continuing to interview faculty and its complete report is expected in the fall.
We've reached out to State University System Chancellor Ray Rodrigues for a response. A spokesperson for Governor DeSantis says Florida is number one in higher education and intends to stay that way.