According to a new report, job turnover at both the University of Florida and Florida State University is up, with professors giving up tenure and moving as far away as Canada for new job opportunities where they can, in Governor Ron DeSantis' words, "suppress freedom of thought in the name of identity politics and indoctrination."
DeSantis, who has said that "Florida is where woke goes to die," has made education reform a major part of his governorship. Over the last two years, he has ushered in new laws that have affected discriminatory programs, transgender and sexual indoctrination, and related jobs. He has purged diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs from state-funded universities and has dismantled and rebuilt their leadership.
Some colleges in the state say they are struggling to bring in replacements, as many would-be applicants are no longer interested in Florida. But conservative activist Christopher Rufo, whom DeSantis appointed to the board of New College in Sarasota, welcomes the departures.
"To me, this is a net gain for Florida," he says. "Professors who want to practice DEI-style racial discrimination, facilitate the sexual amputation of minors, and replace scholarship with partisan activism are free to do so elsewhere. Good riddance."
Michael McGonigle of Young America's Foundation (YAF) agrees.
For decades, his organization has seen liberal professors across the nation do all they can to silence conservative students. Now, with their resignations and relocations, these Florida professors are showing that recognizing others' First Amendment rights is where they draw the line.
"DEI often does anything but what it claims to do," McGonigle submits. "If these universities really cared about inclusion, they would allow conservatives' voices to be heard. Where is the office of free speech? This is a founding principle of our country, and yet publicly-funded institutions seem to care nothing about it."
He thinks more schools should get rid of DEI and focus more on free speech. That, he says, is "the thing that's really under attack right now in America."