DeSantis Board Denies Tenure For Five Professors

Inside Higher Ed reports:

During a contentious Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday, five professors at the New College of Florida were denied tenure—even though they had already received approvals at every other point in the process.

Those professors are the latest casualties of the culture-war politics that led conservative trustees appointed by Florida governor Ron DeSantis to spearhead a self-declared “hostile takeover” of the college.

The tenure denial prompted the abrupt resignation of Matthew Lepinski, the faculty trustee on the board, who accused fellow members of destabilizing NCF. Lepinski walked out after the vote, announcing suddenly that he was “quitting the college.”

The Associated Press reports:

The school’s interim president, DeSantis ally and former state House Speaker Richard Corcoran, said in a memo to the trustees that he wanted the professors’ tenure denied or delayed in part because of the administrative changes and because of “a renewed focus on ensuring the college is moving towards a more traditional liberal arts institution.”

The trustees denied tenure for all five professors on identical 6-4 votes, with the new conservative board members in the majority. Shouts of “shame on you!” came from the audience afterward.

The five professors denied tenure are Rebecca Black and Lin Jiang, who both teach organic chemistry; Nassima Neggaz, history and religion with a focus on Islam; coastal and marine science professor Gerardo Toro-Farmer; and Hugo Viera-Vargas, whose specialty is Caribbean/Latin American studies and music.