Gov. Ron DeSantis wants conservative overhaul at Sarasota’s New College of Florida


  • The six new members appointed by Florida’s Republican governor include Christopher Rufo, who helped spur debate nationwide about critical race theory, and a dean of the conservative Hillsdale College.
  • The transformation of the 11-member board is expected to be met with frustration, given that the school’s faculty and students are considered left-leaning.
  • Florida is one of several states with new laws curbing the teaching of critical race theory at public colleges, though Florida’s restrictions are on hold because of a lawsuit.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis overhauled the board of Sarasota’s New College on Friday, bringing in six new members, including prominent conservative activist Christopher Rufo and a dean of conservative Hillsdale College, in a move his administration described as an effort to shift the school in a conservative direction.

“It is our hope that New College of Florida will become Florida’s classical college, more along the lines of a Hillsdale of the south,” DeSantis Chief of Staff James Uthmeier told the conservative Daily Caller website.

The shakeup of the 11-member board is certain to create major tensions at New College, an institution that started as a progressive private school before becoming the state’s liberal arts honors college. The small school’s student body and faculty have a reputation for leaning left politically.


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