Why Scholars Are Creating an "Alt New College"
In the past year, DeSantis appointed a slate of conservative trustees to New College’s board, who then fired the institution’s president, denied five professors’ tenure bids, eliminated the institution’s office for diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, and targeted its gender-studies program.
As stated on the Alt New College website, the network of free and subsidized courses and virtual talks was designed to be “an online institute to support the academic freedom of faculty and students following the hostile takeover of New College of Florida.”
This week, Alt New College presented an online discussion between the philosopher Judith Butler and the writer Masha Gessen on “The Authoritarian Assault on Gender Studies.” Last month New College's Board of Trustess started dismantling the public institution’s gender-studies program and the program’s only full-time gender-studies instructor also resigned.
The articles discuss OSUN’s ongoing role in working with higher education institutions across the globe who have suffered authoritarian attacks due to their liberal arts and sciences programs. In addition to New College of Florida, Parami University in Myanmar, Smolny College in Russia, American University of Afghanistan, and Central European University in Hungary are mentioned.
“We see no radical difference between what’s gone on in Hungary or Russia or Afghanistan or Myanmar and what’s going on in Florida,” says Jonathan Becker, Vice Chancellor of OSUN and Executive Vice President of Bard College, in the Chronicle article. “We decided to do what we’ve done in other places, which is try to provide a pathway for students and faculty to continue a rigorous liberal-arts-and-sciences education.”
Post Date: 09-19-2023