Temperamentally, I appreciate your efforts to combat the illiberal institution that is DEi with liberalism. I'd like to believe that fighting the illiberalism of DEI with illiberalism on the right will only create a backlash.

However, part of me thinks that fighting illiberalism with illiberalism (temporarily) might be prudent; its ugliness might remind a few left-wing people that 'free speech' isn't just a right-wing talking point.

How can you be sure that de-escalation in the culture wars is the right move at this point?

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Having been on the faculty of 4 universities, I know the faculty generally over estimates their managerial ability. Just because your a great scientist doesn’t mean you can manage a lemonade stand. DEI is the death of academic freedom and freedom of speech and association.

The board of direction of any organization has two primary functions. First approve and monitor the progress of the organization’s strategy, and second to select, evaluate, and if necessary terminate the management.

It seems that the Governor and the board are not on board with the DEI strategy and it’s impact on the organization.

As a Florida taxpayer and a consumer of education ( I have 2 master degrees and a doctorate) I believe the DEI infrastructure at most universities is a costly, and adds significantly to both the burden of the taxpayer and those who pay tuition, without the benefit of any ROI on that burden.

In addition to the expense the loss of focus on the organization’s mission ie education. The additional burdens such as diversity statement for new hires and a lack of focus on academic merit as the currency of achievement is not the way to run a railroad.

In the 1950’s you had to sign loyalty oaths to get a job as an academic, now you have to write some bullshit pledge to the DEI gods.

God bless Ron DeSantis.

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Clearly the academic world cannot be trusted to attend up for the very academic freedom you tout in this article. We got here because our professors and administrators believe that academic freedom means you agree with them. So excuse me if I look with skepticism on your rose colored view of your profession.

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I agree with you in theory that is the wrong way to halt the illiberal assault of DEI, what suggestions do you have? Do we just have to let this fad burn itself out which may take years to decades?

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It is this very orientation that allows the Woke capture of Academic Institutions. Excising Critical Pedagogy from the Institution, especially State Institutions is not illiberal. You are most likely (purposefully) conflating the difference between students, professors or even classes that hold illiberal ideas with the Institution itself being illiberal. The former is fine the later is not.

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"DEI needs to be reformed—and indeed transformed—from within the university itself, with faculty taking the lead." Here's how trying to reform, transform, or simply just question illiberal forms of DEI actually works in practice nowadays:

- Say anything publicly that opposes the current interpretations of DEI, or even ask for clarification about what exactly is meant by, say, "equity" (does it mean every student should get the same grades generally and that--rather than what the students learn--should be the paramount goal in an academic program? does this mean incentivizing instructors to give lower grades to the "wrong" kind of students to "close the gaps" between certain groups? does it take into account where the students started from when they arrived at the school and what progress was made at the school/within coursework so far to close those gaps? does it apply to the very common case when the women are doing much better than the men?, etc.)

- Get smeared as a "ist" who doesn't "care" about the students. Find yourself targeted by the DEI club (when they take a break from their endless self-congratulating workshops) and likely the subject of gossip, faculty-wide emails (perhaps with a vague "SOME PEOPLE" instead of your name), and possibly even open petitions from faculty and their student pals happy to "do the work" for DEI by targeting the opposition. Even the "moderates" simply cannot countenance why anyone would want to question, much less oppose, DEI.

- Not get tenure/not get full for dubious reasons, get shunted away from any committee with any power (including all future hiring committees), have your department retaliated against when it comes time for funding or even course scheduling, and in general have your colleagues decide that their purpose in life is to make your life as miserable as possible as a warning to anyone else who thinks to ask questions.

- But hey, it's all part of "faculty governance," what a great concept! Not flawed at all in so many ways beyond this, including massive malapportionment and how other faculty get to veto the plans of other faculty whom they dislike and entrench/enrich themselves at the expense of the students and purpose of the university.

Khalid and Snyder need to understand: the faculty *are* the problem now. DeSantis' approach may not improve things, but given that the faculty at so many schools have surrendered fully to the DEI bullies, there's basically no way to resist at this point through regular channels. I have relatively low confidence in DeSantis' approach (especially after appointing a political buddy to run New College at double the salary of the previous New College president--not exactly cutting the admin fat there), but at least it's something besides surrendering meekly.

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No. The fad needs to be demonitized

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These brief comments below show startling diversity. Everyone from woke snowflake students to cranky conservatives love to whip out their truncheons and thump the professors, who have the unenviable position of being the standard-bearers for all of societies' problems. It's interesting to me that everyone is so keen on scapegoating teachers for the absurd positions they are placed in by policymakers seeking either to punish or pander to bored, disenchanted, brain dead students. It shows just how similar the right and left are in terms of their tactics and abuse of power. I feel like the statements being made in this article are so obvious they barely needed stating. Desantis and friends could care less about "reforming" anything. They're just whipping up the lowest common denominators of their tribe into a lather so they they can enrich and aggrandize themselves. Teachers are almost as powerless as students; that's why they make such great targets for blame. DEI censorship and victimhood mentality is a cancer, but you don't replace one cancer with another and hope the afflicted recovers. Academic freedom is the tangible representation of trust with imbue our professors with. If we treat teachers as mere marionettes whose string are free to be pulled by the loudest bully--whether that bully is a pouty student who gets "triggered" or some republican jerk trying to seize power--then we prove ourselves unworthy of the many things that teachers have to teach us.

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"Liberal" and "illiberal" are terms describing approaches to problems. One or both have their merit, but neither is more valuable and applicable to all humans.

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