Florida State Universities and Colleges

June 2021
The State University System of Florida and the Florida College System (Public college or university)
Tallahassee, FL

Identity of Speakers

  • The State University System of Florida and the Florida College System

    The State University System of Florida is a system of twelve public institutions in Florida. The Florida College System is comprised of 28 public community colleges and state colleges.

Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
  • Incident Political Orientation:
    Not Clear
  • Incident Responses:
  • Incident Status:
    In litigation Federal District Court
  • Did not involve Speech Codes


A U.S. District Court Judge denied a preliminary injunction brought on behalf of nine professors in response to a Florida law requiring students and employees at Florida’s public colleges and universities to complete voluntary emailed surveys about their political leanings and the political climate on Florida campuses.

SB 264, dubbed the “intellectual diversity” bill, was signed into law by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis under the guise of ensuring that students are not shielded from particular partisan ideologies.

The final survey as created by the State University System of Florida Board of Governors attempt to gauge the political temperature on college campuses, asking respondents if they agree or disagree with the questions posed. The surveys ask people to weigh in on whether their campus is open to free expression and if they’ve felt intimidated expressing their views or felt “shielded” from other ideas.

Employees are asked if they inject their viewpoint into their teachings, and if tenure decisions at their school are based on having “a particular political viewpoint.” If they agree, they will be asked to state what political ideology — liberal, conservative or other — affects those decisions.  They also will be asked if they think their institution supports “research, publications, dissertations, etc.” and opportunities for students to engage in work that defend both liberal and conservative viewpoints and frameworks.

Students are asked to state how strongly they agree with the statement that “my professors or course instructors use class time to express their own social or political beliefs without objectively discussing opposing social or political beliefs.” They also will be asked how much they “would be concerned if most of my professors or course instructors held the same political beliefs.”

In response to the enactment of SB 264, the United Faculty of Florida, a union representing faculty at Florida’s state universities, discouraged members from participating in the survey, arguing that the use of the survey would create a chilling effect on free speech and freedom of association on campus