The New College of Florida (NCF) board of trustees voted Thursday to direct the administration of the institution to abolish its gender studies program, according to Chris Rufo, a member of the board.
In January, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed six new conservative members to the NCF board of trustees in an effort to overhaul the ideological education system. Since being appointed, the board has voted to eliminate the college’s diversity, equity and inclusion office (DEI) and ban the use of diversity statements.
“The decision of the New College board of trustees to initiate the termination of the university’s gender studies program sets a new historical precedent,” Rufo wrote in the City Journal following the vote on the gender studies program. “Academia’s continued decline is not inevitable. Civic-minded leaders, deriving their power from the people, can use legislation, appointments and board governance to reorient public universities away from left-wing nihilism and, once again, toward higher principles.”
The NCF gender studies program was consisted of courses in queer studies, queer history and feminist philosophy, according to the program’s website. The program helped students change their legal name and pronouns as part of the gender transitioning process, according to a resource form.
Some potential career paths offered through the gender studies program at the NCF included “community relations and organizing” and “social work,” the program website states.
BREAKING: The New College of Florida board of trustees has directed the administration to abolish its Gender Studies program. We are the first public university in America to begin rolling back the encroachment of queer theory and gender pseudoscience into academic life.
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) August 10, 2023
“Gender Studies, recognized as an interdisciplinary academic program at New College since 1995, draws on curricula across the campus (and beyond) to introduce students to the complex focal problem of ‘gender’ and to support student and faculty research in this dynamic field,” the program description reads.
Since DeSantis appointed new members to the board of trustees, NCF students raised more than $90,000 to hold an alternative commencement ceremony in an effort to oppose the “hostile takeover.” The May alternative commencement featured Dr. Scott Atlas, a former Special COVID-19 advisor to President Trump.
“The mission of New College of Florida is to restore classical liberal education and to revive the pursuit of transcendent truth—a mission ultimately incompatible with the disciplines of gender studies and queer theory, which are explicitly opposed to the classical conceptions of the true, the good and the beautiful,” Rufo wrote.
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