DeSantis signs bill for post-tenure reviews at Florida universities, accreditation changes

SB-7044 signed into law

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at The Villages on April 19, 2022. (The Florida Channel)

THE VILLAGES, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law Tuesday aimed at reforming higher education by requiring post-tenure reviews of professors and making accreditation changes.

The governor signed SB-7044 and was joined by Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls.

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DeSantis said the bill will require “diversity with accreditation” to keep state universities from going to the same creditor. It will also require a post-tenure review every five years of faculty.

“We need to have good curriculum, we need to make sure the faculty are held accountable and that they don’t just have tenure forever without having any type of ways to hold them accountable or evaluate what they’re doing,” he said.

Sprowls said this new 5-year review will require professors to justify what they are teaching.

The bill also protects students by increasing transparency about fees.

“There’s ways that they can get you with all these fees, and they impose fees on almost everything and so now there’s going to be protection against that. They’re going to have to basically surmount a pretty high hurdle to be able to do that,” DeSantis said.

This comes days after dozens of math textbooks were rejected by the Florida Department of Education after officials said their publishers were attempting to indoctrinate students. The state agency released a list of 54 math books it has rejected for use in classrooms.

Although education officials claim some of the textbooks were rejected because they contained references to “prohibited” topics such as Critical Race Theory, state officials did not immediately provide records specifically detailing why each of the 54 math books was barred.

About the Authors:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.