Ron DeSantis And Pals Have Flawless Bill To Turn Florida Universities Into Right-Wing Diploma Mills

Ron DeSantis And Pals Have Flawless Bill To Turn Florida Universities Into Right-Wing Diploma Mills
This. THIS is what college is for.

Ron DeSantis is many things: fighter pilot cosplayer, teenage menstruation inquisitor, huffy bigot, squeaky-voiced dipshit, Ivy League-educated hater of education, power-hungry Smurf, squinty-eyed beachball-looking motherfucker, sneering orb of perpetual unpleasantness, insecure pipsqueak Napoleon who wears high-heel boots to boost his height to well above his natural 5’9".

And so on.

To all of the above, we can now add “giant meteor about to cause an extinction-level event for public colleges in Florida.” That is because the state legislature has now posted the text of a bill, HB 999, to overhaul higher education in Florida, as part of DeSantis’s continued effort to make everyone in his state’s public universities dumber than the dumbest inbred freak-show Dr. Moreau-inspired lifeform to ever slither out of the Everglades. Or Rick Scott, if you want to save yourself some time while making the same point.

Various professors and lawyers and just plain people with a higher IQ than cardboard have been picking over the bill and pulling out the juicier bits, and hoo boy. Among other tragedies:

  • The bill bans critical studies of race and gender. All courses, majors and minors in Women’s Studies, Gender Studies, and concepts derived from intersectionality or the “belief system” of “Critical Race Theory” must be removed from curricula. Sorry about that, anyone interested in the humanities.
  • All faculty hiring to be done by school presidents and boards of trustees. The latter are political appointments made by a governor, so one can imagine how it will go when Florida trustee boards are stocked with hardcore right-wingers. Or you don’t need to imagine, since DeSantis is already running this experiment with the New College of Florida, which is how that babbling imbecile Chris Rufo has been elevated from one-man wingnut content mill to college trustee.
  • Input from current faculty on new hiring? Forget it. The political appointees are under zero obligation to listen to recommendations or advice.
  • Post-tenure review. Tenure reform, generally speaking, may not be the worst idea in the world. It is certainly a topic of debate in circles not populated by insane people. But imagine it in the hands of DeSantis’s right-wing political appointees. Now imagine you’re a tenured professor of, say, African American History. Now imagine updating your resumé and listing your house on Zillow.
  • Courses based on “unproven, theoretical, or exploratory content” are all banned. Bummer for anyone interested in teaching most of STEM.
  • A personal favorite of yr Wonkette is the provision requiring all general education core classes to exclude any concept that “defines American history as contrary to the creation of a new nation based on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.” Which makes one wonder how anyone in Florida is going to teach any sort of American history at all, ever, since not living up to the universal principles stated in the Declaration has been a core feature of this nation since it was founded.

Ron DeSantis was educated at Harvard and Yale, and he is determined to make sure anyone who attends a public university in Florida does not get anywhere near the quality of education he got, apparently.

This type of attack on higher education is always where the right-wing attacks on education have been headed. All the obsessiveness over what some random undergrad at Oberlin or Smith said about a cafeteria trying to pass off a ham sandwich as traditional Vietnamese food. All the complaints when undergrads had the temerity to protest a campus speech by Milo Yiannopoulos or make fun of Ben Shapiro in person.

In particular, all the complaints about left-wing indoctrination and left-wing bias and cramming of left-wing ideology down the throats of students by left-wing faculty. The goal was never some dogma-free, value-neutral curriculum, whatever that would even look like.

No, it was always about replacing the cramming of alleged left-wing ideology with the cramming of right-wing ideology. Conservative ideas couldn’t gain traction on their own in much of academia. The solution? Obviously it’s not going to involve rethinking or re-evaluating those ideas, that would take time and be really hard and what are you, some sort of communist?

In conclusion, Ron DeSantis sucks donkey balls.


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