Story at a glance
- Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed HB 233 Tuesday.
- The legislation will require public universities to survey students and staff annually about their beliefs to assess “viewpoint diversity” on campuses.
- The bill does not specifically say what will be done with survey results, but DeSantis suggested budget cuts could be imminent if universities and colleges are found to be “indoctrinating” students.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Tuesday signed legislation mandating public colleges and universities survey students and faculty about their beliefs in an effort to promote intellectual diversity on campuses.
“We obviously want our universities to be focused on critical thinking, academic rigor,” DeSantis said during a news conference Tuesday, according to the Naples Daily News.
“We do not want them as basically hotbeds for stale ideology,” he said.
“It used to be thought that a university campus was a place where you’d be exposed to a lot of different ideas,” DeSantis said. “Unfortunately, now the norm is, these are more intellectually repressive environments,” he added.
Under House Bill 233, surveys would be conducted annually on campuses to assess viewpoint diversity and intellectual freedom, and determine “the extent to which competing ideas and perspectives are presented,” and whether students and faculty “feel free to express beliefs and viewpoints on campus and in the classroom.”
The bill does not specifically say what will be done with survey results, but DeSantis suggested budget cuts could be imminent if universities and colleges are found to be “indoctrinating” students.
“That’s not worth tax dollars and that’s not something that we’re going to be supporting moving forward,” the governor said.
The legislation, which goes into effect July 1, also aims to ensure students are being shown ideas that they “may disagree with or find uncomfortable.”
The measure was among three education bills signed by DeSantis Tuesday. Other measures included an expansion of civics education for K-12 schools, including instruction about the perils of communist and totalitarian governments.
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