Florida has temporarily suspended a survey that asks college students and employees about viewpoint diversity, intellectual freedom and bias in the classroom, WUFT reported Wednesday.
The annual survey, first administered last year, was established by state law in 2021. Republican governor—and now GOP presidential candidate—Ron DeSantis cited concerns about faculty members “indoctrinating” students at state institutions when he signed the bill into law.
In its first year, the voluntary survey had an abysmal response rate. Only 1.7 percent of the students at Florida’s 12 public universities and 28 colleges filled it out, along with 10 percent of faculty members, instructional staff and administrators, WUFT reported.
The United Faculty of Florida, which discouraged participation in the questionnaire, may have driven down the response rate. Leaders argued that the survey is a form of surveillance, that questions are leading and that demographic data may be mined to target respondents based on their views.
In explaining why they suspended the survey, Florida officials told WUFT that a state law passed last year had bumped the deadline for reporting results back from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31. Now it appears the survey will skip a year, with the next edition going out in the spring.
An aide for Spencer Roach, the Republican lawmaker who crafted the legislation that established the survey, told the news outlet that sending the questionnaire later in the year would allow students more time to form opinions about their campus experience and improve the value of the survey.