The Risks of Merging Institutions: Why Ron DeSantis Chose the Wrong College to Take Over

New College of Florida, a small liberal arts college in Sarasota, and Florida State University, a larger university in Tallahassee, will merge under legislation that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently approved. Both the New College group and the academic community at large have expressed disagreement and criticism of the choice.

Students, faculty, and alumni have criticised Governor Ron DeSantis’ move to combine New College of Florida with Florida State University. The choice calls into question the viability of small schools, the future of liberal arts education, and the place of politics in higher education.

The History of New College of Florida

Private New College of Florida was established in 1960; it changed its status to a public liberal arts college in 1975. The college’s interdisciplinary curriculum and high standard of scholastic rigor are well-known. One of the best public liberal arts colleges in the nation, it has reliably held that position.

The Importance of Liberal Arts Education

With a wide variety of knowledge and skills available to students, a liberal arts education is a crucial component of higher education. The New College of Florida’s interdisciplinary approach is especially advantageous because it enables students to investigate a variety of subject areas and sharpen their analytical abilities. Larger institutions, like Florida State, which are more specialised programme-focused, do not frequently employ this strategy.

The Value of Small Colleges

Intimate learning environments are offered by small colleges like New College of Florida, where students can form close bonds with peers and teachers. A more individualised and involved educational experience as well as a stronger feeling of community may result from this. It’s possible that larger universities like Florida State don’t provide the same degree of individualised care and assistance.

The Risks of Merging Institutions

Combining two institutions can be a difficult and complicated procedure with potential risks. It may result in the school losing its identity, faculty and staff becoming confused and at odds, and academic standards declining. These dangers might be more obvious when a smaller, more specialised school like New College of Florida joins forces with a bigger, more varied university like Florida State.

The Role of Politics in Higher Education

Politics, not education, may have played a role in the choice to merge New College of Florida with Florida State University. Governor Ron DeSantis has drawn flak for his efforts to sway academic policies and programmes as well as for taking a conservative position on higher education. One could argue that this merger represents another instance of government meddling in higher education.

In conclusion, Governor Ron DeSantis’ option to combine Florida State University and New College of Florida may have been a mistake. The decision may have detrimental effects on students, teachers, and the academic community as a whole, as evidenced by the value of a liberal arts education, the significance of small colleges, and the risks associated with merging institutions. The decision’s long-term effects must be carefully considered, and support must be given to organisations like the New College of Florida that offer distinctive and priceless educational possibilities.


Why did Ron DeSantis merge New College of Florida with Florida State University?

  • The reasons for the merger are not entirely clear, but it may have been influenced by political factors rather than educational ones.

What is the history of the New College of Florida?

  • New College of Florida was founded in 1960 as a private institution and became a public liberal arts college in 1975. It is known for its interdisciplinary curriculum and high level of academic rigor.

Why is the interdisciplinary approach of the New College of Florida critical?

  • The interdisciplinary approach of the New College of Florida is critical because it allows students to explore multiple fields of study and develop critical thinking skills.

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