The Corner


No, Florida Isn’t ‘Cracking Down’ on Free Thought on College Campuses

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at CPAC in Orlando, Fla., February 26, 2021. (Joe Skipper/Reuters)

Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, Jonathan Adler notes that Florida is simply not doing what it is being accused of doing: Namely, cracking down on independent thought on Floridian college campuses. Adler knows this because — shock! — he bothered to read the bill that is being criticized:

As the above text makes clear, the required survey is not a survey of the political beliefs of students and faculty. Rather, the survey is to measure “the extent to which competing ideas and perspectives are presented,” and the extent to which “members of the college community, including students, faculty, and staff, feel free to express their beliefs and viewpoints on campus and in the classroom.” It does not ask student, faculty and staff what their viewpoints are, but whether they feel free to express their viewpoints, whatever they may be. It is a survey about the academic environment, not the political beliefs of members of the academic community.

What would such a survey look like? It would probably look a lot like the Heterodox Academy Campus Expression Survey that many college campuses have administered to diagnose the openness of their campuses to a broad range of viewpoints. This is a good survey that measures things that campus administrators should already care about. My university administered it. The results were informative, revealing, and helpful.

Read the whole thing.


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