An ancient Chinese proverb holds that a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.

Gov. DeSantis’ Pick To Run New College Believes Conservative Majority Can Make The Tiny School A “New College”

An ancient Chinese proverb holds that a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.
New College (Source: NCF)

An ancient Chinese proverb holds that a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.

Conservative writer Christopher Rufo seems to believe the same thing about higher education: that transforming it from the radicalism of the “diversity, equity, inclusion” club could begin by changing the mindset at one of America’s smallest colleges.

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday appointed Rufo to the board of New College in Sarasota. New College is a recent addition to the 12-school State University System, and the smallest, with about 700 students.

It’s also a liberal arts college, meaning its focus is on the non-STEM subjects under the humanities, arts, and social sciences.

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It is also a liberal college.

As its website notes, the school was “founded on principles of equality and inclusion.” The campus also “celebrates diversity, encourages individual expression, and values openness, kindness, and mutual respect.”

To do that, it has an Office of Outreach & Inclusive Excellence, whose mission is to promote a “diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning community.”

New College also features a Gender and Diversity Center, and on campus, students can celebrate LatinX Heritage Month (as opposed to Hispanic Heritage Month), as well as visit “Queery,” which is defined as a “safe place for LGBTQ+ identified individuals and their allies to socialize and engage with the larger community.”

In what seems somewhat redundant, New College also offers the “T Party,” which provides “a secure place for transgender student (sic) to support each other and bond over a common aspect of our identity.”

In a Twitter thread on Friday, Rufo, who writes about the influence of LGBTQ and Critical Race Theory advocates for the Manhattan Institute, thanked DeSantis for the opportunity. DeSantis overhauled the school board with five new appointees in addition to Rufo. 

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“My ambition is to help the new board majority transform New College into a classical liberal arts institution. We are recapturing higher education,” Rufo tweeted.

“We are now over the walls and ready to transform higher education from within,” Rufo continued. “Under the leadership of Gov. DeSantis, our all-star board will demonstrate that the public universities, which have been corrupted by woke nihilism, can be recaptured, restructured, and reformed.”

The DeSantis administration agreed.

Also on Twitter, James Uthmeier, the governor’s chief of staff, said, “It is our hope that New College of Florida will become Florida’s classical college, more along the lines of a Hillsdale of the South.”

Hillsdale College in Michigan is also a liberal arts college, but a conservative one devoted to a classical education rooted in the great texts of Western civilization.   

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