FLORIDA — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced sweeping changes to Florida’s higher education system Tuesday morning.
The governor proposed legislation "to further elevate civil discourse and intellectual freedom in higher education," according to a statement from the DeSantis administration.
The Higher Education Reform package intends to crack down on what DeSantis calls "indoctrination" on college campuses, including a plan to defund university departments focused on diversity and inclusion initiatives that center on critical race theory and related concepts.
The legislation would prohibit universities from supporting those programs on campus and empower university presidents to conduct post tenure reviews of professors.
DeSantis said the goal is to deliver more accountability.
“I think higher education is something where they kind of just let it go and leave it to its own devices. And we’re showing here that no, you need vision from the people of the state and the people’s vision is through the people they elect,” DeSantis said during a news conference.
The reform package further targets curriculum, specifying standards so that courses are “rooted in the values of liberty and western tradition.”
Universities must also prioritize degrees that lead to jobs, rather than those that “further political agendas.”
The state, however, is vowing to give millions this year to recruit new faculty and staff at universities.