All of Florida’s 28 State Colleges and 12 State Universities Plan to Support
At Florida State University, Governor Ron DeSantis today called on Florida’s state college and university presidents to adopt a resolution that protects and promotes the free speech of students on their campuses. The Governor requested that they frequently display their resolution throughout their campuses to ensure the American commitment to a free and open exchange of ideas and robust civil discourse is encouraged and protected.
“It is imperative for the future of our society that our state colleges and universities protect a culture of free speech on their campuses,” said Governor DeSantis. “Here in Florida, we are showing that we welcome debate and the exchange of ideas. By signing a resolution outlining their commitment, our state’s higher learning institutions can lead the way in promoting open discussion and civil discourse.”
In anticipation of the Governor’s call to action, the Florida College System Council of Presidents issued a statement on free expression and committed to having this Statement of Free Expression presented for formal adoption through the established college governance processes. It is expected that all 28 state colleges will sign on.
Joining Governor DeSantis at Florida State University this morning were President John Thrasher, Florida Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, State University System President Marshall Criser and other college and university presidents representing several of Florida’s higher education institutions.
President John Thrasher noted that FSU and the 11 other state universities also support the Governor’s position of “strongly and unconditionally advocating for freedom of speech at Florida’s universities”. It is expected that all 12 state universities will adopt a similar resolution.
In 2018, the Florida Legislature created the “Campus Free Expression Act,” codifying the right to free speech activities, including a prohibition against public institutions of higher education limiting free speech to just certain areas of campus.