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The Fight for New College

A short documentary on the counterrevolution in higher education.
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The hard Left has dominated the universities for generations. It has captured the academic disciplines, established ideologically driven bureaucracies, and put activism, rather than scholarship, at the center of academic life. The Left has long considered the university campus its own private domain, untouchable by political leaders—until now.

In a new short documentary, I tell the story of a small public college in Florida that’s become the opening move in a conservative counterrevolution. Earlier this year, Florida governor Ron DeSantis appointed a new board majority, including me, to New College of Florida and tasked us with a simple, but audacious, mission: take over the failing school, bring in new leadership, and transform the institution into a liberal arts college in the classical tradition.

The move caused a firestorm. Conservatives cheered it on as an essential step in recapturing democratic institutions. Progressives denounced it as a violation of some principle or another. But, whatever your opinion, one thing is certain: the takeover of New College has changed the dynamics of America’s culture war and, if successful, will provide a model for conservatives across the nation.

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Christopher F. Rufo