Gov. Ron DeSantis appoints six new board members to New College of Florida
Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) recently appointed six new members to the New College of Florida Board of Trustees.
Christopher Rufo was one of the appointees, an activist and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute who has been forthright about his fight against woke ideology in higher education.
The Florida Governor appointed Matthew Spalding, Professor and Dean at Hillsdale College; Jason Speir, co-founder, chairman, and superintendent of private Christian school Inspiration Academy; Charles Kesler, Professor of Government at Claremont-McKenna College; Mark Bauerlein, Professor at Emory University and well-known writer; and Debra Jenks, New College of Florida graduate and Florida attorney.
Christopher Rufo was also appointed to the board. An activist and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, Rufo has been forthright about his fight against woke ideology in higher education. A tweet of his reads, “It’s time to abolish public university departments of ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion’ and replace them with the principles of ‘equality, merit, and colorblindness.’”
Matthew Spalding spoke to Campus Reform about why his home institution, Hillsdale College, is seeing “surging enrollments.” The professor explained that a true education in the liberal arts “liberates the mind from popular ideologies” and “current fads” and instead asks questions such as “...what is truth? How should we live our lives? Is their higher meaning and purpose outside of ourselves?”
“I bring experience and expertise as an academic dean and professor at Hillsdale College, an institution that pursues the liberal arts as they should be properly understood,” Spalding said.
Campus Reform also asked Mark Baurlein about his involvement with the new Board of Trustees.
“Our job is to ensure that the college stays true to its academic mission,” Bauerlein told Campus Reform. He also emphasized that the role of a trustee is to ensure that the college “makes sound financial decisions, protects academic freedom, keep[s] applications strong, meets the demands of the legislature, and supports faculty in their teaching and research.”
This action succeeds DeSantis’s initiative requiring all state schools to report spending related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and critical race theory (CRT) affairs, as reported by Campus Reform in early January.
Campus Reform contacted DeSantis, Rufo, Spalding, Speir, Kesler, Bauerlein, Jenks, and New College of Florida for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.