College faculty are leery of coming to Florida because of changes to higher education in the state, according to a survey

UF higher education university
University of Florida, Gainesville, at dawn. By Seán Kinane/WMNF News (Apr. 2023).

A new survey of higher education faculty members in four states including Florida found concerns about the climate of higher ed in Florida. According to UFF, “faculty leaving those states are unwilling to come to Florida” and it’s because “Gov. DeSantis and his supporters’ policies are continuing to harm our state’s colleges and universities.”

On Tuesday Cafe we spoke with Andrew Gothard, president of UFF, United Faculty of Florida, which represents higher education faculty.

Listen to the full show here:

“And “I’ve got to tell you, the results are horrific.

“I mean, they show exactly what we have been consistently warning: the governor, the members of the Florida Board of Governors, the State Board of Education, the legislature — we’ve been telling them over and over again, if you start to strip away tenure protections, high-quality faculty who couldn’t go into the private sector and make double what they make as professors will leave.

“They will go to private labs and they will take billions of dollars in research funding with them.

“If we just look at the numbers: out of the 642 who responded almost 300 said that they plan to seek employment in another state within the next year.

“Within the next year, almost half — close to 550 — said they would not encourage a graduate student or faculty colleague in another state to seek employment in Florida.

“Over 200 said they were not even going to stay in academia long term because of the changes to tenure contracts and restrictions on academic freedom.

“And get this, out of the 642 over 600 said the political atmosphere around higher education in Florida was either bad or very bad.

“So what this shows is that we have a failure of leadership in our elected leaders in Florida and we have got to write the ship before our higher education system goes under.”

— Andrew Gothard on WMNF

Watch this interview here:

Also on Tuesday Café: Suicide Prevention Month and The Florida Institute for Community Studies (FICS) loses its home

Also on Tuesday Café (12 September 2023) we will speak about two other issues: September is Suicide Prevention Month and The Florida Institute for Community Studies (FICS) has lost its lease.

WMNF’s Tuesday Café

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You can listen anytime on demand on or by subscribing to the Tuesday Café podcast on your favorite podcast platform. – WMNF’s Tuesday Café with Seán Kinane.

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