FeaturedIn EducationIn The News

Professor Says He ‘Would Burn’ Down Florida College In Resignation Letter


A New College of Florida (NCF) professor wrote that he would burn down campus buildings if he were not “more patriotic,” according to a letter sent to interim President Richard Corcoran.

Aaron Hillegass, NCF director of applied data science, wrote to Corcoran to inform that he would not be renewing his contract when it expires on August 22, according to the letter posted to Twitter. The notice came in opposition to turning the Florida college into “The Hillsdale of the South,” a nod to the conservative Michigan school, after Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed six conservative members to the Board of Trustees in January.

“If I were more patriotic, I would burn the college’s buildings to the ground,” Hillegass wrote. “However, the soft spot in my heart for the students and faculty who remain prevents this. Thus, I will (not outraged, just moved by a nagging sense of duty) vote with my feet, and simply walk away.”

Hillegass later clarified that he would “never burn a building down” and that the language was “poetic flourish that sounded cool until it showed up in the Sarasota Herald Tribune.”

“The line about burning buildings is pretty mild. It says ‘I’m not going to burn down any buildings. I’m just going to walk away,’” Hillegass told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “I believe that no one should burn down any buildings in this situation.”

He quit his job because the college “had become a tool of the far right, and I believed it would do damage to our nation,” he told the DCNF.

“My ancestors include Michael Hillegas who was the treasurer of the Continental Congress. The ideas of the extreme right, those pushed by Hillsdale College, are tearing this nation apart,” he explained. “Michael Hillegas and his friends who created this nation imagined a pluralistic society where we worked together to find a common ground. To imagine that politics is a football game where only one side wins is anti-American.”

Hillegass was hired soon before DeSantis appointed the new board members, he said on Twitter. The board voted during the first meeting in January to fire former President Patricia Okker and appointed Corcoran, who served as education commissioner in the DeSantis administration.

“When a governor guts the leadership of a state school in an effort to make a facsimile of Hillsdale, that is fascism,” he wrote. “Not the shocking Kristallnacht-style fascism, but the banal fascism that always precedes it.”

The changes at NCF are an “experiment” and, if successful, “the academic freedom of every state school under a conservative governor will be in peril,” he wrote.

“Many people in Florida may disagree with my politics, but when enough smart, experienced people like me walk away, red states will have a difficult time creating a modern workforce,” Hillegass told the DCNF. “Even if you disagree with me, you should want me teaching in the university your grandchildren attend.”

NCF did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org

Support Conservative Daily News with a small donation via Paypal or credit card that will go towards supporting the news and commentary you've come to appreciate.

Related Articles

One Comment

  1. on a different topic so excuse me people but has to be said because of my everyday experiences with the topic
    I judge people individually but as a whole, I have judged BLACK AMERICA for the content of their character – and have learned and experienced most to be highly racist, criminal, and not trustworthy as a whole and I didn’t grow up feeling like on a different topic so excuse me people but has to be said because of my everyday experiences with the topic
    this strongly about it – I have experienced abuse, racism and have been victimized by black Americans an abuse so great that I have never experienced from any other group and I’m Hispanic not even white. Can’t imagine what they go through. All I keep seeing is black Americans robbing, looting, hurting, and abusing anybody who is not black and teaching hate of America, and trying to change its history to the point that it is delusional. People start calling it out. you don’t have to keep taking this abuse from the black community and don’t be afraid of the word racist when used by most racist black Americans – understand they use it as a weapon to intimidate. the black community has proven they have been profiled correctly but I will continue to judge people individually as I meet them.
    on a different topic

Back to top button