Appointees to New College of Florida an Attack on Academic Integrity

Teachers, researchers, and practitioners in the humanities and social sciences around the US are deeply troubled by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s appointment of six new trustees to the New College of Florida. These new trustees are ideologically motivated and their only apparent interest in the institution is political. The brazen aspiration of transforming a nationally ranked public honors college into a college along the lines of the private evangelical Christian Hillsdale College is especially alarming and appears to be nothing more than an orchestrated attack on academic integrity.

Opened in 1960, New College soon became recognized as an institution promoting critical inquiry, and a top-notch liberal arts education. It was the first Florida college or university to establish an open admissions policy, and its revolutionary academic program remains a magnet for top high-school grads.

The new trustees aim to fix something that is not the least bit broken. Christopher Rufo, one of the appointees, said the group will seek to a create a new core curriculum, “abolish ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion’ and replace it with ‘equality, merit, and colorblindness.’” The board of trustees has a responsibility to preserve and protect the institution’s reputation by helping support and protect its mission, not tear it down in the name of an i