Campus Free Speech

Does a New Florida Law Require State Universities to Monitor Faculty and Student Beliefs? (Updated)

Why is straight reporting on educational reform measures so difficult.

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"Florida Gov signs law requiring students, faculty be asked to declare their political beliefs," blares a headline from The Hill. A story on the same legislation in the Tampa Bay Times has the header: "State university faculty, students to be surveyed on beliefs," with the subhed: "Gov. Ron DeSantis suggested that budget cuts could be looming if universities and colleges are found to be "indoctrinating" students." Will Stancil warned the law represents "a government-led crackdown on college thoughtcrime." It all sounds scary, but is this what the law does?

As always when talking about statutes, it helps to read the bill. Here is the text. The relevant provisions read as follows:

(b) The State Board of Education shall require each Florida College System institution to conduct an annual assessment of the intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity at that institution. The State Board of Education shall select or create an objective, nonpartisan, and statistically valid survey to be used by each institution which considers the extent to which competing ideas and perspectives are presented and members of the college community, including students, faculty, and staff, feel free to express their beliefs and viewpoints on campus and in the classroom. The State Board of Education shall annually compile and publish the assessments by September 1 of each year, beginning on September 1, 2022. The State Board of Education may adopt rules to implement this paragraph.

(c) The State Board of Education may not shield students, faculty, or staff at Florida College System institutions from free speech protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Art. I of the State Constitution, or s. 1004.097.

The bill also provides these definitions:

1. "Intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity" means the exposure of students, faculty, and staff to, and the encouragement of their exploration of, a variety of ideological and political perspectives.

2. "Shield" means to limit students', faculty members', or staff members' access to, or observation of, ideas and opinions that they may find uncomfortable, unwelcome, disagreeable, or offensive.

Parallel provisions apply to the Board of Governors of state universities.

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 loo ka 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.

Might a survey include questions about respondents' backgrounds or perspectives for cross-tab purposes? Perhaps. Such information may be useful, insofar as it could identify whether members of minority racial, ethnic, or religious groups experience the educational environment differently, but that is not the focus or requirement of the law.

But what about the comments by Governor DeSantis and bill supporters suggesting the results might affect state funding? Should that be concerning? It depends. First, whatever politicians say they are doing, it is important to look at the law that is actually adopted, as it is the law that controls, not the press statements or variable intentions of individual politicians.

Second, like it or not, state institutions are just that, state institutions. Accordingly it is perfectly appropriate for the legislature to engage in oversight to ensure that such institutions are fulfilling their purposes and that taxpayer dollars are being spent appropriately. Surveys to determine whether educational institutions are, in fact, educating students and providing open learning environments are entirely consistent with such oversight. Indeed, such oversight is a good thing, provided it is just that–oversight, and not control. By this standard, this Florida law is a responsible measure, in contrast to the various "anti-CRT" measures some legislatures have adopted and political interventions at some universities to punish or exclude those with disfavored political viewpoints, as has reportedly occurred at the University of North Carolina.

If the surveys called for in this bill facilitate actual assaults on academic freedom, any such assaults should be condemned. But the problem in such instances would be the actual assaults on academic freedom, not the effort to determine whether state educational institutions actually provide open learning environments. In recent years we have seen political activists abuse open records laws to pursue academics they did not like. The problem in such cases was not the existence of open records laws, but their political misuse. The same would hold true here.

If a state university is not effectively educating students, is discriminating against some students, or otherwise failing in its educational mission, would it be wrong for the state government to take action? I don't think so. So long as the state does not take actions that compromise academic freedom, there is no problem with basic oversight and accountability for state institutions. (Private institutions, on the other hand, should be allowed to set their own policies and priorities, though any private university that does not protect and safeguard academic freedom betrays its mission as an institution of higher learning.)

Those warning about this legislation's threat to academic freedom also ignore that it expressly reaffirms and expands the First Amendment rights of professors and students, both in the prohibition on blocking access to ideas and materials protected by the First Amendment (noted above) and by amending the state law concerning protected expressive activities on campus, adding the language underlined to the existing provision of Florida law:

Expressive activities protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and Art. I of the State Constitution include, but are not limited to, any lawful oral or written communication of ideas, including all forms of peaceful assembly, protests, and speeches; distributing literature; carrying signs; circulating petitions; faculty research, lectures, writings, and commentary, whether published or unpublished; and the recording and publication, including the Internet publication, of video or audio recorded in outdoor areas of campus.

Yeah, this legislation really sounds like a crackdown on academic freedom.

Not everything in this new legislation is welcome, however. One provision provides that "a student may record video or audio of class lectures for their own personal educational use, in connection with a complaint to the public institution of higher education where the recording was made, or as evidence in, or in preparation for, a criminal or civil proceeding. A recorded lecture may not be published without the consent of the lecturer." This is potentially problematic. On the one hand, I understand the importance of making class videos available to students for educational purposes, particularly those students who may have disabilities. Schools should find ways to accommodate these needs. (I have my classes recorded for this purpose and placed on a site only accessible to current students.)

On the other hand, class participants (students in particular) should not have to worry that everything they say and do in class may be recorded for posterity and potentially distributed. It is good that the provision does not allow publication without the consent of the lecturer, but what about other students who may be identifiable in the video? Should not their consent matter too? Insofar as education is a collaborative enterprise, students should not have to fear that their class participation may be recorded and distributed without their consent.

The bottom line is that headline writers and the Twitter commentariat have grossly misrepresented this legislation and pilloried what is actually a good idea: State governments ensuring that state institutions of higher learning provide open learning environments in which the full range of political and other views may be expressed. Indeed, it is unfortunate that some universities are not doing this already on their own accord, as they should recognize that providing such an environment is integral to their educational mission.

UPDATE: Joe Cohn of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (a fantastic group) comments on the legislation here.

I share his concerns about the video recording provisions more so than about the other provisions, and he spells out good reasons to be concerned about that part of the law. I am less moved by the rest.

Legislative language is never perfect, and holding state legislatures to a standard of absolute perfection when addressing higher education would effectively prevent state legislatures from exercising any oversight over state educational institutions (which are, after all, part of the state government). That is untenable. Insofar as there are concerns about the potential breadth of the definition of "shield," I do not think that language bars faculty members from maintaining order in the classroom or directing classroom discussion, but insofar as there is a risk there, I think this is the sort of concern that can be easily and adequately addressed through the implementing regulations that the law authorizes.

NEXT: Today in Supreme Court History: June 24, 2013

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  1. The media, after spending 5 years destroying their credibility with crap like this – “why won’t anybody listen to us about important stuff?”

    They just don’t get it. Or they can’t.

    1. The laziest thing in the world is to complain about ‘the media.’ ‘The media’ is hundreds of organizations with thousands of employees. It’s like complaining about ‘politicians,’ I bet you like plenty of politicians, actually.

      1. “The laziest thing in the world is to complain about ‘the media.’”

        Wrong. Complaining about ‘whiteness’ or ‘white privilege’ is lazier.

        There are millions of white people with different degrees of privilege.

        1. Not really, if you understand what that idea means as best understood.

          1. So all white people have the same amount of privilege in life? White people are interchangeable with regards to how the world structures treats them?

            Wow.

            1. No. It means that there are some privileges which extend to all white persons.

              Think of stereotypes about races.

              1. “It means that there are some privileges that extend to all white persons”

                Which is made up racist bullshit that has no basis in fact. But if you’re smug enough when you say it maybe some people will believe it.

                1. So you deny the obvious racism toward black people but believe that teaching about it is racism toward white people? Do you know how much of a snowflake you sound like?

              2. Tell that to poor whites living in trailer parks.

                1. Poor whites living in trailer parks are a lot better off than poor blacks living in trailer parks. They don’t have to worry about getting shot every time they get stopped for speeding, or for simply driving through a white neighborhood. They don’t have to worry that their son won’t get the starting high school quarterback job because he’s black, or their daughter will be passed over for the cheerleading squad in favor of a less talented, pretty, blonde white girl. That’s white privilege.

            2. No, and not everyone with a Harvard degree is gainfully employed. I actually once knew a homeless Harvard grad; it happens. But nobody would seriously suggest that because counterexamples like that can be found, that having a Harvard degree isn’t serious privilege.

              1. Wait, bettering yourself is “privilege”? If you’re going that far then this point loses what little value it has.

          2. “Not really, if you understand what that idea means as best understood.”

            Huh. Maybe criticizing the media isn’t lazy if you understand what the criticism means as best understood.

            1. It’s ok if you don’t understand what a ‘stereotype’ means. What’s interesting is how aggresive you are about that.

              1. I understand what a stereotype means.

      2. Yeah, sure Queen. If it’s the laziest thing in the world then why does survey after survey show that 70%+ of the public distrust the media?

        You want to ignore it because you’re in the choir they’ve been preaching to. And you’re biting off fully on the CRT racism. Ultimately you’re just a racist and your rationality has been destroyed by politics.

      3. That’s correct. Not all are lefty or righty.

  2. I get that there is a good chance that many legislatures have written terrible anti-CRT laws. However, the few that I have seen (including Trumps EO on the issue), are actually rather clear in their position…
    You can discuss race, racism, slavery, white privilege, white supremacy, etc…. you can’t teach, as fact, that people are oppressed/oppressors by virtue of their skin color and therefore guilty/deserving of different treatment. You can teach that “some people believe this” you can’t teach “It is so.”

    And since I keep seeing here at reason only references to what I admit are actually poorly written anti-CRT laws but know that good ones do exist… can someone around here do a survey of these laws and give us an idea just how common bad ones are versus good ones? The reporting implies that every anti-CRT law says “You can’t talk about race… at all. You can’t teach that racism exists or has ever existed… at all,” and that’s simply not true.

    1. “you can’t teach, as fact, that people are oppressed/oppressors by virtue of their skin color and therefore guilty/deserving of different treatment. ”

      Can you point to how the laws are clear about this?

      1. This bill clearly states that you can not teach “that” a person’s worth is tied to sex/gender.

        No text of the bill prohibits discussion of the concept as an idea.

        1. Lol, yes, it’s so clear that if I teach a CRT theorist to the best of my abilities I’m not teaching ‘that’ what they say is true.

          1. “Lol, yes, it’s so clear that if I teach a CRT theorist to the best of my abilities I’m not teaching ‘that’ what they say is true.”

            Sure. People do it all the time. For example, you can’t teach that Jesus is the son of God. You can teach the Christians believe that Jesus is the son of God.

            1. Lol, yes, and there’s not been much litigation/controversy on that line!

              1. And yet we manage.

                1. We manage through a lot of crap we don’t have to.

            2. Also, I’m pretty sure that folks manage to teach about racism and sexism (some people believe that blacks should have separate schools, a woman’s place is in the home, etc.) without teaching it as fact.

              Have you had trouble making that distinction in your classes?

              1. You’ve never taught a class, right (we’ve talked before, there’s past history of your comments here if you need me to look it up)?

                1. Lol. I don’t recall saying that I have never taught a class, but this is correct.

                  1. WHO would have guessed that from your confident comments about academe!

              2. As a teacher… I haven’t.

                I’ve taught what socialism and Communism are (both the Marxist definition and the modern working definitons).
                I’ve taught Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, etc. without trying to convert anyone.
                I’ve taught about the Divine Right of Kings without telling any of my students that Louis XIV was right and they should agree with him.

                It’s weird… it’s almost as if it’s just the pro-CRT people who can’t comprehend the difference between teaching “this is how things are” and “this is how some people see things”

                1. So, when you teach Judaism and socialism you say ‘this is not the truth, this is how some people think it is?’

                  How many times do you say that? How many times would get you from not being investigated?

                  1. So, when you teach Judaism and socialism you say ‘this is not the truth, this is how some people think it is?’

                    When you teach Judaism you say, “This is what the Jews believe.” When teaching Marxism you might say, “This is what Marx believed.” Do you doubt this? What is your point?

                  2. If you are so dense as to realize that there is a huge difference between saying “Christians believe a guy named Jesus is the son of God” and “Jesus IS the son of God” then I can’t help you.

                    But apparently you can’t tell the difference between “Some people believe that white people, by virtue of being white, are evil” and “White people are evil” and think that any attempt at stopping the latter must certainly contain restrictions on the former because… racism or something?

          2. I mean, there has been a concept, important in US History, that the natural and proper state of the black race is to be enslaved by the white race.

            It’s very important that students learn about this concept.

            But here I have a college professor implying that he can’t teach about this concept without accidentally teaching that it is factually correct.

            I certainly haven’t been opposed to teaching about slavery, but based on the input of those with more experience than I, I’m starting to think it might be dangerous.

            1. You’ve never taught a class, right?

              1. Right. So I guess I’ll take you at your word that you can’t teach about the concepts underlying slavery and white supremacy without accidentally teaching that they are factually correct.

                1. Do you think areas you don’t know about might be complex in a way that might make those proficient in it worried about running afould of a broad law?

                  1. I’m less included to think so than I was before you started making your argument.

                    I mean, pretty much every job requires you to deal with people who say, “You have to make the decision I think you should make for reasons you can’t possible understand.” It doesn’t work. Sometimes you have to make a case and convince people.

                  2. OMG, you teach this shit? Tell us, how do the 8 year olds react when told they will always be evil because their parents are white. When they cry do you just tell ‘em to shut their little privileged asses up?

                    1. “When they cry do you just tell ‘em to shut their little privileged asses up?”

                      QA teaches at a university level. The accepted methodology for dealing with independent thought at that level is “Stop talking right now!”

                    2. Oh, so if they resist or argue they just get kicked out of school then. Opens a spot for the oppressed!!

                    3. Critical Race Theory does not teach that all white people are evil. Only that racism is evil, which is obviously true and which you obviously don’t believe. The belief that racism is not evil is what makes you, and all racists, evil!
                      Is that so hard to understand?

    2. I teach History. And we teach that which you have stated. It’s only being used as a Wedge issue for the 2022 Midterms.

  3. The bottom line is that headline writers and the Twitter commentariat have grossly misrepresented this legislation and pilloried what is actually a good idea..

    By exercising their constitutional rights to lie up a storm as they please.

  4. Given Florida’s governor’s and legislature’s desire to exercise more operational control over state colleges and universities (for example, giving politically-appointed board of trustees the final say on individual tenure decisions), I have no faith that your benign view of this law will prove to be accurate. This measure, purporting to insure all sides are explored, comes from a group who, for narrow political purposes, holds fast in public to the “reality” of Trump’s victory in the 2020 election.

    1. So if someone feels wronged by this law and challenges it in court… it will be the secret, malicious intentions of an evil GOP cabal that gets to decide what the law says and how it is applied….

      not judges who have been on the bench since long before this was even a sparkle in DeSantis’ eye? Not judges who apply this law… as it is explained above… but some hidden politicos who just make up the “real” meaning of it out of whole cloth and use it to throw commies from helicopters?

      1. “not judges who have been on the bench since long before this was even a sparkle in DeSantis’ eye? ”

        All seven of the judges on the court are GOP appointees, no?

        1. And all by DeSantis and his group of neo-racist evil Klansmen? All with known racist intent in their hearts rather than a commitment to the law?

          Does your comment mean that I can discount all judges appointed by governors I don’t like simply by virtue of who appointed them? You are admitting that RGB was no great jurist but a biased partisan in a black robe?

          1. Are you asking me if many recent FL SC justices are likely hacks?

            1. You are the one implying that all judges in FL that may ever have this case come before them are hacks. I’m either telling you to accept that judges are, by virtue of who appoints them, hacks (meaning RGB is a hack) OR that it’s probably more likely that judges aren’t normally (I accept some may be) hacks.

              1. Are you asking me if many recent FL SC justices are likely hacks?

                1. I’m asking you if the Florida Supreme Court is an evil GOP cabal that gets to decide what the law says and how it is applied based on secret, malicious intentions.

    2. I agree. However, I’m reserve final judgement at this point.

  5. If the news media wanted to report fairly and accurately, we would see signs that they were trying to do that. We consistently see the opposite.

  6. OK, fine. Maybe some people were a bit overzealous in describing this legislation.

    But why focus on this small error when there are dozens of proposed laws banning any and all discussion of slavery and racism in the classroom?

    Focus, man! Focus!

  7. As long as nobody is required to answer any survey, I’m not too bothered.

  8. Meanwhile, here is Intellectual Freedom Champion DeSantis at work elsewhere.

    Look, if you want to criticize the media for being inaccurate about the survey – and I’d wait to see the actual survey and its consequences before I was too hard on the media – but it’s 100% clear that DeSantis is trying to cash in on the Great Republican CRT Panic of 2021.

      1. This moral panic is useful to us, why criticize?

        1. Because it’s not 100% clear why it’s at all relevant that DeSantis is trying to cash in on the Great Republican CRT Panic of 2021.

          1. Hypocrisy?

            1. So y’all give zero shits that the media misrepresented something? Again?
              And that somehow the mistakes are always in the same direction?

              Nothing to see here, right?

      2. Where is that damned edit function?

        Look, if you want to criticize the media for being inaccurate about the survey – and I’d wait to see the actual survey and its consequences before I was too hard on the media – go ahead, but it’s 100% clear that DeSantis is trying to cash in on the Great Republican CRT Panic of 2021.

      3. “Politician Panders to Public Sentiments”

        Dog bites man.

        1. We had the Great Democratic Systematic Racism panic last year.

          Bernard joined in on that.

    1. ‘The rule says in part: “Instruction on the required topics must be factual and objective and may not suppress or distort significant historical events, such as the Holocaust, and may not define American history as something other than the creation of a new nation based largely on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.”

      ‘In addition, the rule says teachers must “serve as facilitators for student discussion and do not share their personal views or attempt to indoctrinate or persuade students to a particular point of view.”‘

      Here is admittedly more dictation than the “anti-CRT” bills we’ve been discussing before. Those bills largely supplement pre-existing hostile-environment rules by banning racist teaching in schools without banning particular subject matter. Now there’s a specific spin on American history – a patriotic spin.

      Is this micromanagement on the part of the State Board? Is it whitewashing our awful oppressive history? Perhaps so, though if the patriotic version isn’t taught, that doesn’t mean they’ll teach *nothing.*

      1. This is like a cross-fit exercise in rationalization.

        1. You wouldn’t recognize a nuanced discussion if it ran up and bit you on the ass.

      2. So on the one hand, teachers must, ““serve as facilitators for student discussion and do not share their personal views or attempt to indoctrinate or persuade students to a particular point of view.”

        On the other they “may not define American history as something other than the creation of a new nation based largely on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.”

        No POV there, no sir.

        Look, Cal, these people are incoherent. They have a POV – they just think it’s objective fact.

        1. So what? IIUC this rule applies to K-12 schools, where the curriculum is government speech, and not to universities.

        2. may not define American history as something other than the creation of a new nation based largely on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.

          This does not exclude the inclusion of different opinions on the creation of the nation. It excludes defining the creation of the nation by one of those different opinions, especially one about which there is considerable disagreement, such as the one championed by the 1619 project. What is your objection?

    2. Look, if you want to criticize the media for being inaccurate about the survey – and I’d wait to see the actual survey and its consequences before I was too hard on the media

      So you’re asserting that the media collectively has the power to predict the future, and the reporting in question was not about what has happened/is happening, but on things yet to come?

  9. As a default rule, assume the mainstream media and its members on twitter are always acting as propagandists, being misleading through omissions and selective coverage, lying, parroting a lie told them by some deep state lackey with no evidence, and generally acting as a very demented communist might think is good for the cause. You’ll be right 99% of the time.

    1. In this case assume just makes an ass out of u.

  10. Ehhh who really cares at this point. I wouldn’t bother with the whole monitoring thing. Just pull all government funding at this point. It is clear these are not “educators” in any traditional sense, but “indoctrinators” pushing extreme political agendas. Unplug them, let these institutions die, and maybe in a few years talk about building actual universities once again.

    1. Ends always justify means.

      1. Sometimes that is a true statement….

    2. You have no idea WTF you’re talking about.

      Where do you get your information? OAN?

      1. “Where do you get your information? OAN?”

        That many purported educators are actually indoctrinaires? I get mine from a workshop for English Comp teachers on how to prevent students from discussing or writing about ideas that the teacher finds problematic.

        The teachers are falsely taught that SCOTUS has held that the first amendment doesn’t apply to their classrooms, and that if they disagree with students they should tell them, “just stop talking now!” and if that fails, report them.

      2. I’m working on a second grad degree and am taking classes at our local big state school. These are geared toward professionals, offered in the evening, and tend to have faculty dedicated to them which don’t teach “traditional” undergrad populations. In an accounting course, we were told that there would be two weeks (out of about twelve) dedicated to diversity in the industry. One-sixth of this class which was about financials and GAP turned into just hogwash on critical race theory (yes actual CRT) to which the instructor was ashamed to actually be presenting. She remarked more than once, “I’m sure all of you paid good money to hear about this stuff and not the subject matter listed in the course catalogue.”

        Examples are everywhere. Only the blind can’t see it at this point.

      3. You have no idea WTF you’re talking about.

        Maybe you and he can form a support group.

  11. When evaluating this whole thing, bear in mind that DeSantis has suggested that schools that don’t measure up to whatever the legislature’s ideas about diversity are may face budget cuts.

    IOW, this is not necessarily as benign as Adler makes it out to be.

    1. “IOW, this is not necessarily as benign as Adler makes it out to be.”

      Perhaps. But Adler still clearly proved his main point – that the media is misrepresenting what the law says. That’s a much more consistent and pervasive problem than this stupid law

      Has that become so routine that we just don’t care anymore? A huge portion of Americans wishes they’d do better, but either they don’t care to or they don’t know how.

    2. When evaluating this whole thing, bear in mind that DeSantis has suggested that schools that don’t measure up to whatever the legislature’s ideas about diversity are may face budget cuts.

      In other words, the State has the right to set teaching standards. Is that a novel idea?

    3. When evaluating this whole thing

      “this whole thing” is whether or not the media outlets in question accurately reported on the legislation. Clearly they did not, regardless of your “I don’t like DeSantis” hand-waving.

  12. “exclude those with disfavored political viewpoints, as has reportedly occurred at the University of North Carolina.”

    This is accompanied by a link to a post which includes this:

    “Reasonable minds can disagree on whether Hannah-Jones would be a good hire for UNC, and those of us who might disagree can reasonably criticize the school for making a bad call.”

    The author of the post simply believed that Boards of Trustees should generally accept faculty tenure recommendations, even flawed recommendations such as he admits this one might be.

    On the other hand, one might argue that the Boards of Trustees being legally responsible for appointments means they get to actually consider the merits of those appointments.

    But signs are the trustees in this case might end up reversing themselves and giving tenure to the 1619 project lady, thus I suspect the matter may soon be moot.

    1. Cal thinks a Board of Plumbers should make academic decisions.

      1. I’m more likely to get help from a plumber than from a CRT-spouting academic. It’s cheaper, too.

        1. The author concedes that “Reasonable minds can disagree on whether Hannah-Jones would be a good hire for UNC” – but apparently like you he doesn’t think the trustees are among these reasonable minds.

          1. Again, I guess you’d like a Council of Plumbers to decide if her work is worthy of academic merit.

          2. No… they can be reasonable, and disagree on her being a good hire…

            They just have to hire her anyway because… reasons?

            1. Smart people defer to experts in areas they are not experts.

              It’s AMAZING that this is something that conservative now contest….

              1. “Smart people defer to experts in areas they are not experts.”

                Sigh. Smart people make their own decisions, informed by experts if necessary.

                Nobody defers to a plumber about whether or not their toilet flushes, or to a pizza chef about whether or not their pizza tastes like shit.

                Ultimately decisions about products, including journalism, are make by customers, and if a large number of readers think that Hannah-Jones’ journalism is a bunch of politicalized BS, then she’s not a good journalist.

                1. if a large number of readers think that Hannah-Jones’ journalism is a bunch of politicalized BS, then she’s not a good journalist.

                  Even if all those readers are wrong? Even if they haven’t actually read her work?

                  1. “Even if they haven’t actually read her work?”

                    Sigh. If they’re not in a position to evaluate her work, they’re not readers.

                  2. if a large number of readers think that Hannah-Jones’ journalism is a bunch of politicalized BS, then she’s not a good journalist.

                    Even if all those readers are wrong? Even if they haven’t actually read her work?

                    Try again. I bolded the important word for you.

              2. So the Board’s job is literally to be a rubber stamp? Their whole authority over approving tenure is a complete sham and fabrication? They aren’t entitled to have any say, at all, and must always agree with the “experts”? Why not just make the “experts” the Board of Trustees then?

                In other words… you want your way, all the time, in every way. And if someone disagrees… How dare they! What evil malefactors at worst, or total imbeciles at best!

      2. “Board of Plumbers”

        You have to be smart to be a good plumber. Math, ability to diagnose problems.

        Lefty disdain for working people duly noted.

    2. By this standard, this Florida law is a responsible measure, in contrast to…political interventions at some universities to punish or exclude those with disfavored political viewpoints, as has reportedly occurred at the University of North Carolina.

      Suppose a state university only wants to hire faculty who are far left on the political spectrum but the board of trustees wants them to also hire faculty on the center or right. Does this “exclude those with disfavored political viewpoints,” those being the faculty who would have been hired but for the requirement to include those not on the far left? So a neoliberal is hired in the economics department instead of a Marxist?

  13. How can you “conduct an annual assessment of the […] viewpoint diversity” without asking people what their viewpoint is?

    Asking people “is there diversity?” requires that they assess *other* people’s viewpoints, and makes it subjective even what diversity looks like.

    We have *both* kinds of music – Country *and* Western.

    1. It’s really not that hard, I’ve seen surveys like this all the time. You ask people what their perception is of how widely their own viewpoints are shared on different topics, and you ask them whether they feel comfortable sharing viewpoints that diverge from others, and you ask them whether they think other people feel comfortable doing the same. Ask them whether it’s actively encouraged or supported. Lots of different questions.

    2. Better avoid any campus-climate surveys about racial tolerance. People might blurt out their race.

    3. Question 1: Do you feel you have been exposed to a wide variety of honestly presented political viewpoints while here at Generic U?

      Question 2: Do you feel safe to express your ideas without being harassed or otherwise attacked?

      Question 3: Do you believe other people feel comfortable sharing their views if those views do not match with the professor or the majority of a class?

      Or… you know… something like that.

  14. ” though any private university that does not protect and safeguard academic freedom betrays its mission as an institution of higher learning ”

    Should science-disdaining, reason-suppressing, nonsense-teaching, dogma-enforcing, history-warping, censorship-shackled campuses be accredited by mainstream, reasoning, educated America?

    It would be great to hear Heterodox Academy’s position on that one.

  15. Should science-disdaining, reason-suppressing, nonsense-teaching, dogma-enforcing, history-warping, censorship-shackled campuses be accredited by mainstream, reasoning, educated America?

    I’m sure that Heterodox Academy’s position would be “certainly not.”

  16. Insofar as education is a collaborative enterprise, students should not have to fear that their class participation may be recorded and distributed without their consent.

    I disagree. In fact I would advocate a bill protecting the right of all citizens to record everything they can see and hear in nearly all circumstances (plus a very short list of exceptions).

    It would be like Smith v Maryland. If you do or say something in public, you have no expectation of privacy. Public meaning that other people were present.

    It would apply to all encounters with police, and it would apply to all discourse in classrooms. Exceptions might include the bathroom stall and the therapist’s office.

    It is only pragmatic because technology is driving us to the point where cameras are far to tiny and inexpensive to even detect easily. When the average person is like a Tesla car with 12 cameras recording in every direction 24×7, the average classroom may have as many as 1000 cameras recording, and many students will want to make a vlog of their entire life. Cameras will eventually be as small as dust particles, and can be released into the atmosphere by the trillions to go wherever the wind takes them. Resistance is futile.

  17. It is good that the provision does not allow publication without the consent of the lecturer,

    Does that restriction survive strict scrutiny? (Does it need to?) I mean, we wouldn’t say that people can record police officers, but not publish the resulting videos without their consent. And the 4th circuit just said that Maryland’s ban on publishing videos of court proceedings was subject to strict scrutiny. Classrooms are not quite as public as courtrooms or public streets, but they aren’t exactly private, either.

  18. Clickbait. Fell for it too. But I sure as hell WOULD NOT PUT IT PAST them to do just that. Look how they are responding to Critical Race Theory.

  19. There’s no diversity of thought problem. You can find tons of conservative thoughts being expressed on campuses where the admissions criteria are less strenuous. Right wingers just aren’t very bright, so as schools are harder to get into, you see fewer of them.

  20. Just because the language is parsed in such a way as to make it seem to be in favor of diversity of opinions does not make it any less obvious that the government is trying to make sure that racist, misogynist and fascist opinions will be heard and encouraged by state colleges.

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