Nearly half a century ago, the Supreme Court, under the authority of radical progressives, invented the concept of a woman’s right to have an abortion.
Right then and there, conservatives saw that a persistent push to appoint conservative ideas to the judiciary was necessary if the rule of law was to endure in the United States.
In the ensuing ten years, the Federalist Society was formed. Republican presidential candidates made similar pledges to fill the Supreme Court with conservative justices.
The overturning of Roe v. Wade this year was the culmination of decades of effort.
Higher Education Politics
What Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida did to the court, conservatives now must do to higher education.
Former Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who is now DeSantis’ commissioner of education, was a candidate for the presidency of Florida State University last year.
However, a group calling itself the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges wrote a letter to Florida State University, threatening its certification if the university chose a new president who lacked academic credentials.
After his qualifications were questioned by faculty and an accreditation board, Florida education commissioner Richard Corcoran is no longer in the race to become Florida State University’s next president.https://t.co/VO9vsxoRuE
— Tampa Bay Times (@TB_Times) May 16, 2021
Why does that even matter? Universities must be accredited by one of the seven bodies recognized by the Department of Education for students to be eligible for federal financial aid.
Without proper recognition, students cannot qualify for federal scholarships or loans. Unless your university is willing to forego federal funding entirely, like Hillsdale College has, you have just been given the death sentence.
To put it another way, SACSCOC was invoking its veto authority as an accrediting body against FSU’s choice of president.
It wasn’t the first time SACSCOC overstepped its authority. The same group employed these strategies to prevent ex-Governor Sonny Perdue of Georgia from being president of the Georgia State University System.
There was resistance and DeSantis fought back. He helped get a measure through the Florida legislature that forces state colleges to switch accrediting bodies every 10 years.
DeSantis essentially wanted to remove SACSCOC’s veto power over school leadership from all Florida universities.
Professors in Florida are feeling the chill from DeSantis' education legislation https://t.co/DowVZVRBUB
— The Detroit News (@detroitnews) August 13, 2022
DeSantis’s attempt to evade SACSCOC oversight has not gone over well with the officials in President Biden’s Department of Education.
All schools are required to keep working with their present accrediting bodies, according to new regulations.
As governor, it is uncertain what DeSantis can or will do to push back against the Biden administration’s efforts to maintain the status quo in higher education, despite the fact the status quo isn’t serving the United States well.
61 percent of adults think universities and colleges are headed in the wrong way. For a long time, universities have been safe spaces for anti-American leftist ideologues who cannot find work elsewhere.
The HERO Act
It’s no surprise that a growing number of Republicans think universities are a net negative for the country’s future.
This need not be the case. Governors need to start appointing conservatives to administrative positions at public universities. The collapse of the certification agency cartel is a necessary first step.
There is evidence DeSantis understood this well before he became governor. While serving in the House of Representatives, he presented federal legislation to accomplish that very goal.
The HERO Act proposed by DeSantis would allow governors to establish their own accrediting bodies.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) would be helpless to prevent conservatives from holding administrative posts in universities under the HERO Act.
This article appeared in The Political Globe and has been published here with permission.