Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Why Faculty Are Fleeing Florida?

Following up on last week's post, New York Times: Why Tax Prof Neil Buchanan And Other Liberal Tenured Professors Are Leaving Florida's Public Universities:  Chronicle of Higher Education, Why Faculty Members Are Fleeing Florida:

ZieglerBy the time she took a faculty position with Florida State University College of Law, Mary Ziegler had earned a degree from Harvard Law School, worked as a postdoctoral associate at Yale Law School, and clerked at the Vermont Supreme Court. After joining the Tallahassee-based university in 2013, her academic career soared.

Ziegler’s work was soon appearing in top law journals and her observations were often sought out in the media. The university rewarded her with a named professorship and its “Transformation Through Teaching’’ award. She published six books and quickly came to be regarded as a leading expert on the history of reproductive rights.

But last year, nearly a decade after her arrival, Ziegler resigned. Her reason? Dismay at the way that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was using the state’s colleges as political battlefields.

“That made me feel like I couldn’t stay,” said Ziegler, who took a job as a law professor at the University of California at Davis. “I didn’t want to have a career there.”

Data from the 12 public institutions in the State University System of Florida, analyzed by reporters at the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, show that she was far from alone: Nine of them saw a significant spike in faculty resignations in 2022. The University of Florida saw a 20-percent increase in tenured and tenure-track faculty resignations (391 total) from 2021. At Florida State, 136 faculty members resigned in 2022, up 28 percent from the prior year. Faculty losses from Florida International University, in Miami, including both retirements and resignations, rose from 82 in 2021 to 97 in 2022. ...


Initial data from 2023 show the rate of faculty departures from Florida universities slowed during the first few months of this year compared with 2022’s exodus. Still, dozens of faculty members are still leaving. Earlier this week, for example, The New York Times reported that the University of Florida’s law school has seen 30-percent faculty turnover this year. And in interviews, departing faculty from across the state specifically cited DeSantis and a wave of laws targeting higher education as the reason.

Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink