Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ highest-profile pick to overhaul the state’s smallest public university is now in the running to run what is arguably the most left-wing campus in America.
Conservative journalist Christopher Rufo, appointed by DeSantis as one of six new trustees to run New College in Sarasota, has been nominated to replace the outgoing chancellor at the University of California-Berkeley.
“The search firm WittKieffer just informed me that I have been “placed in nomination as a possible candidate for the position of UC Berkeley Chancellor,” Rufo posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday. “I have affirmed my interest in the position and, if selected, pledge to implement much-needed reforms.”
That was why DeSantis hired Rufo for the Sarasota campus, which is home to a 700-student liberal arts college that is the smallest public school in the State University System.
Rufo is one of the right’s leading crusaders against left-wing wokeism, including “diversity, equity, and inclusion” programs in colleges and corporations.
In August, for example Rufo and the other trustees voted to abolish New College’s “gender studies” program.
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As the Tampa Free Press reported in September, the Biden administration launched a probe of possible civil rights violations at New College. One of the allegations Biden’s Department of Education cited in starting the investigation was that Rufo allegedly “misgendered” the college’s former DEI director, who uses “ze/zir” pronouns.
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported that the UC-Berkeley chancellor’s role is to act as “pseudo-presidents,” meaning they lead the campus but report to UC President Michael Drake. Current Chancellor Carol Christ announced her retirement effective at the of the 2023-24 academic year.
On X, Rufo acknowledged that his candidacy to be chancellor may have been a gag.
“(Whoever nominated me has an amazing sense of humor. Just imagine the application process, especially the moment when they check my DEI credentials),” he wrote.
“I have a few suspicions as to who it might be. There are some, let’s say, ‘disgruntled,’ people in the UCB orbit.”
In another post, Rufo responded to an X account holder who endorsed him for the position. “Absolutely, I endorse myself, too. I am truly the man for the job,” he wrote.
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