Professors say House Bill 999 would be horrific for academic freedom at Florida's state universities
The proposed bill also targets funding for diversity, equity and inclusion programs.
This week on Florida Matters, state lawmakers are considering a piece of legislation that would limit academic freedom at public universities across the state.
House Bill 999 also targets funding for diversity, equity and inclusion programs.
It’s the latest salvo in Gov. Ron DeSantis' war on what his administration calls "woke" culture in education — and it’s alarming college faculty, students and free speech advocates.
Among the speakers at a recent summit on higher education at New College in Sarasota was Jeremy C. Young, senior manager of free expression and education with PEN America, an organization that advocates for freedom of expression.
Young told the attendees — faculty from colleges and universities around the state — that the bill, if signed into law, would “enact the most draconian and censorious restrictions on public education anywhere in the country.”
And while he said it won’t be easy, Young encouraged them to counter the effect of what he calls educational gag orders.
Host Matthew Peddie talked with WUSF reporter Cathy Carter and two college professor — one from Eckerd, a private school, and another from the University of South Florida to dig deeper into the profound changes this bill could bring about to higher education in Florida.
Diane Price Herndl is the department chair and professor of Women's & Gender Studies at the University of South Florida. Suzan Harrison is a professor of rhetoric at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg.
You can listen to the full conversation by clicking on the “Listen” button above. Or you can listen on the WUSF app under “Programs & Podcasts.