Presidents of more than two dozen Florida community and four-year state colleges issued a joint statement on Wednesday pledging not to fund or support “initiatives, instruction, and activities” that promote critical race theory or related ideologies.
The presidents represent the 28 colleges that make up the Florida College System. The system’s Council of Presidents intend to ensure efforts at their colleges “do not promote any ideology that suppresses intellectual and academic freedom, freedom of expression, viewpoint diversity, and the pursuit of truth in teaching and learning,” the statement said. “As such, our institutions will not fund or support any institutional practice, policy, or academic requirement that compels belief in critical race theory or related concepts such as intersectionality, or the idea that systems of oppression should be the primary lens through which teaching and learning are analyzed and/or improved upon.”
Critical race theory, if discussed in the classroom, will be presented “as one of several theories and in an objective manner,” according to the statement. The presidents also said they would create “environments in which students, faculty, and staff can pursue their academic interests without fear of reprisal or being ‘canceled.’”
The group also “reaffirmed its commitment to nondiscrimination in hiring, onboarding and professional development” as well as “merit, reason, fairness, civil debate, cultivating intellectual autonomy and equality, and evaluating our successes on the achievements of all students.”
The presidents plan to review trainings, instruction and policies on their campuses and remove any that counter the values expressed in the statement by Feb. 1.