Ron DeSantis has pledged to make significant reforms to American higher education if elected president, including actions to “totally blow up the accreditation cartel.”
Higher education is but one front in the Governor’s bigger conflict; DeSantis has urged that the federal Department of Justice Civil Rights Division target DEI ventures and has promised to have them removed from the military.
DeSantis expressed dissatisfaction with the accreditors’ efforts to impose a liberal orthodoxy.
“It’s going to be, instead of you have to have gender studies or you have to have (diversity, equity and inclusion) to get accredited, it will be the opposite. We’re not going to accredit you if you have DEI and some of these other things.” DeSantis said.
DeSantis added that changes made at Florida’s New College, where a right-wing board appointed former House Speaker Richard Corcoran as president, can serve as a model for future changes.
“Part of the reason universities operate the way they are is because they need to get accredited and these accreditors are all trying to create the types of universities that we object to as conservatives.” he continued.
“That is going to create, I think, an opportunity for a lot of innovation in higher ed. And what we’ve seen in New College, just by saying, I mean, basically we came in (with a) new President. They got rid of things like (critical race theory), they abolished the gender studies department, they rebranded the university as being the best classical publicly funded liberal arts college.” he added.