New College alumni and UFF push back after DeSantis appoints 6 Trustees

Share

On WMNF’s Tuesday Café we spoke with the President of United Faculty of Florida and with a New College of Florida alumnus about the school and about six conservative activists that Governor Ron DeSantis just appointed to the Board of Trustees of the liberal arts college.

Our guests were Andrew Gothard, President of United Faculty of Florida — the union representing college and university faculty and New College alumnus Chelsea Hall. She’s a PhD candidate at Harvard in Religion, Gender and Culture studies.

Gothard told WMNF that supporters of maintaining the small liberal arts feel of the college are pushing back.

Listen to the full show here:

Watch the interview with New College of Florida alumnus Chelsea Hall:

Watch the interview with UFF president Andrew Gothard:

New College of Florida is a small liberal arts college, but it’s also part of the state college and university system.

That mix makes it popular with many students and faculty. But it also makes it a target.

On Friday, Governor Ron DeSantis’s office announced he was appointing six people to the New College of Florida Board of Trustees. There are 13 total members.

Gothard told WMNF:

“When you appoint people to these kinds of roles, who are clearly only politically and ideologically motivated, but really don’t have the experience when it comes down to building strong programs and maintaining a healthy institution.

“You hear ideas like this that sound good in propaganda or sound good on a campaign poster but don’t actually make any sense when it comes to serving the interests and the needs of students who need to be competitive in a national and international job market.

“So, we’re going to be interested to see what happens.

“And I can tell you one thing if they take even one step to harm the students or the communities or the faculty and staff of New College of Florida you better believe the United Faculty of Florida are going to be right there to oppose them.

“Because our interests are to protect higher education not to push somebody’s political propaganda.”

Some critics say the New College of Florida model isn’t working. They cite low enrollment, low scores on state university rankings and the efficient use of public money.

But according to the New College website, the Fiske Guide to Colleges ranks New College a “Best Buy” public college. U.S. News & World Report ranks it as the #5 public liberal arts college in the nation. And in the Best Value Schools’ ranking of its “50 Best Value Small Schools” it comes in #2. So a pretty good case could be made for not messing with the success.

When you appoint people to these kinds of roles, who are clearly only politically and ideologically motivated, but really don’t have the experience when it comes down to building strong programs and maintaining a healthy institution. You hear ideas like this that sound good in propaganda or sound good on a campaign poster but don’t actually make any sense when it comes to serving the interests and the needs of students who need to be competitive in a national and international job market. So, we’re going to be interested to see what happens and I can tell you one thing if they take even one step to harm the students or the communities or the faculty and staff of New College of Florida you better believe the United Faculty of Florida are going to be right there to oppose them. Because our interests are to protect higher education not to push somebody’s political propaganda.

WMNF’s Tuesday Café

WMNF’s Tuesday Café airs weekly beginning at 10:06 a.m. ET.

You can listen on 88.5 FM in Tampa Bay, on wmnf.org or on the WMNF Community Radio app.

You may also like

Andrew Warren
Suspended Hillsborough state attorney Andrew Warren runs for re-election

Listen: Suspended Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren announced Tuesday...

Havana Cuba
On the anniversary of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, DeSantis signs a bill requiring the teaching of communism history in Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday signed a measure that will...

The Scoop: Wed. April 17th, 2024 Tampa Bay and Florida headlines by WMNF

Bob Graham dies  Former Florida Senator and Governor Bob Graham...

Bob Graham
Former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham dies at 87

Bob Graham, a two-term Florida governor who served in the...

Ways to listen

WMNF is listener-supported. That means we don't advertise like a commercial station, and we're not part of a university.

Ways to support

WMNF volunteers have fun providing a variety of needed services to keep your community radio station alive and kickin'.

Follow us on Instagram

Latin Jazz & Salsa
Player position: