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Ripe for poaching: Will DeSantis’ higher ed policies drive out Florida faculty?

Ripe for poaching: Will DeSantis’ higher ed policies drive out Florida faculty?

Higher Ed Dive

Jeremy Bauer-Wolf
April 7, 2023
Last month, as Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, dialed up his legislative crusade to transform the state’s public colleges according to his vision, the provost of another institution — in New York — wrote an essay about it.
“Send us your woke, your trans,” read the headline of Donald Hall’s op-ed in the Miami Herald, in which he proclaimed his college, the public Binghamton University, would aggressively recruit and poach Florida students and faculty amid DeSantis’ campaign to wipe out diversity programs and restrict faculty tenure on state campuses.
“DeSantis may be setting up a great reverse migration of intellectuals, innovative thinkers and creative talent coming back home (and sending their children back) to a place that embodies tolerance, love for diversity in all of its manifestations and a deep commitment to the protection of iconoclastic, world-changing ideas, one that requires a strong tenure system,” Hall wrote.
His essay confirmed a scenario higher education leaders had predicted: that DeSantis’ efforts would spur colleges outside Florida to woo away the state institutions’ top faculty talent and that they — and some students — would flee the Sunshine State for more progressive pastures.
Hall said in an email to Higher Ed Dive that he’s received half a dozen or so job inquiries from Florida faculty thus far, as well as “very positive emails from parents and our own alumni who live there.”
But would a theoretical faculty exodus be so massive? Probably not, according to one expert, Brendan Cantwell, a higher ed professor at Michigan State University.
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