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Pro-DeSantis Board Sinks Woke Navy Admiral’s Bid For University’s Presidency

  A Florida state board allied with   Governor Ron DeSantis   blocked Florida Atlantic University from considering hiring as its president a...

 A Florida state board allied with Governor Ron DeSantis blocked Florida Atlantic University from considering hiring as its president a U.S. Navy official with a history of supporting woke policies, shutting down the search process and launching an investigation into it.

Ray Rodrigues, who is chancellor of the Florida Board of Governors, cited “anomalies” in his decision to halt the search for a new president of the Boca Raton-based school, WLRN reported. Rodrigues disapproved of FAU’s search firm using a survey of the candidates’ demographics, and told FAU Board of Trustees Chairman Brad Levine that personal questions, including whether candidates were “queer” and about their “preferred pronouns” were “wholly irrelevant, inappropriate, and potentially illegal.”

Rodrigues also objected to a straw poll used to narrow down the pool of candidates, saying search committee members submitted their rankings “confidentially and directly to the search firm,” which he argued might violate state law that requires those kinds of meetings to be on the record.

Navy Vice Admiral and Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy Sean Buck was one of three finalists considered for the job along with Michael Hartline, the dean of the College of Business at Florida State University, and Jose Sartarelli, the former chancellor of the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Buck had served as superintendent of the United States Naval Academy since 2019 after serving as commander of the U.S. Fourth Fleet and U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command.

“He was the lead signatory on its radical DEI program, which promised to push full-time ‘diversity and inclusion staff,’ racial quotas of ‘representative’ individuals, and ‘annual diversity and inclusion summits,’” anti-woke champion Christopher Rufo noted.

Rufo has worked closely with DeSantis, who appointed most of the members of the Board of Governors, to scrub the state’s university system of far-left hiring and teaching practices. He said Buck also had a poor record of protecting individual rights.

“Buck also led the policy of denying all religious exemption requests for the COVID vaccine,” Rufo said. “Eighteen students at the Naval Academy requested exemptions and Buck denied them all, despite the fact that, due to their age, the midshipmen had a very low risk profile,” Rufo added.

Rodrigues also pointed out in a letter to the chair of the FAU Board of Trustees that “at least one candidate reported he was requested to complete a questionnaire and answer if his sexual orientation was ‘queer’ and whether he was a ‘male or transgender male.’ In a separate and required survey, the same candidate was subsequently asked if his gender was ‘male, female, or other’ and what his ‘preferred pronouns were.’”

“These inquiries are wholly irrelevant, inappropriate, and potentially illegal,” he added.

Rodrigues revealed the investigation will be supervised by Inspector General Julie Leftheris, adding, “The investigation will be thorough, fair and a determination will not be reached in haste.”

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