Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) stepped up to highlight a group of six candidates for the New College of Florida Board of Trustees in an effort to make the public liberal arts school would toss out their controversial ideologies.
After having secured his second term as the chief executive of the Sunshine State this past week in the wake of a massive victory in his reelection campaign this past November, DeSantis marked Christopher Rufo, Matthew Spalding, Charles Kesler, Mark Bauerlein, Debra Jenks, and Jason “Eddie” Speir for roles on the institution’s Board of Trustees, as explained via a press release from the DeSantis’ governors office. These nominees must be officially confirmed by members of the Florida Senate, which has become controlled by Republicans.
As a fellow with the Manhattan Institute, Rufo has worked as an activist who has fought against Critical Race Theory at both the federal and state levels, while Spalding works with Hillsdale College as a constitutional government professor. Kesler works as a professor at Claremont-McKenna College and as an editor of the Claremont Review of Books; Bauerlein works for Emory University as a professor of English; Jenks serves on the Fourth District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission and works on an attorney; and Speir sits as the chairman of one high school in southwestern Florida, Inspiration Academy.
“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,” stated Taryn Fenske, a communications director for DeSantis, in a release. “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.”
These nominations take place just a few days after DeSantis asked public university administrators to issue a very detailed record of expenditures in relation to diversity, equity, and inclusion programs as the various members of the Florida legislature look over a number of budget proposals. For every initiative, officials were ordered to write up a detailed description of the program, the number of staff slots used by the program, the total amount of funds utilized to support the program, and the amount of those funds which originate from taxpayer money.
“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,” explained Bryan Griffin, the Press Secretary for DeSantis, in a release. “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.”