Gov. DeSantis sues Joe Biden administration, challenging college accreditation agencies
Image via AP

Ron DeSantis
'The question is: Whose agenda should ultimately govern?'

Gov. Ron DeSantis is opening another legal battle against the federal government, this time over the power of private accreditation agencies over state universities.

“In America you need to be accountable to somebody, and right now they’re accountable to nobody,” DeSantis said at a press conference in Tampa. “We believe we have a great chance of succeeding in this lawsuit.”

The lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) and Secretary Miguel Cardona was filed in the U.S. Southern District of Florida and claims the accreditation agencies have too much sway over governing state universities. The agencies’ decisions regarding accreditation can affect federal financial aid and grant money, which the lawsuit claims is an unconstitutional delegation of the authority of the federal government.

“The audacity, the ever-increasing power grab by private agencies over the states’ ability to govern taxpayer-funded institutions has been astounding,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody.

Moody cited a series of incidents where the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) threatened the accreditation of Florida universities. Most recent was when the group indicated the accreditation of Florida State University (FSU) could be in trouble as its board of trustees considered a new President in 2021.

At the time, then-Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran — who was a member of the Board of Governors for the State University System, which oversees universities — was a candidate for the job. Such a conflict of interest was enough to trigger a letter from SACS threatening to declare the school out of compliance with its standards if Corcoran didn’t resign while the search was ongoing.

The trustees eventually handed the position to Richard McCollough, a former vice provost for research at Harvard University. Corcoran was later named President of New College, a small liberal arts college in Sarasota that is being given a conservative makeover by DeSantis.

The FSU incident prompted the Legislature to pass a law requiring state universities to seek out alternative accrediting agencies. The USDOE responded last year by passing new regulations requiring its approval before a school can move to a new accrediting agency.

BOG Chairman Ray Rodrigues, a former GOP state Senator, said the University of Central Florida sent in its request to move agencies six months ago and didn’t receive a decision, but got more questions about its application.

“We went six months hearing nothing from the Department of Education on this request,” Rodrigues said.

DeSantis claimed the accrediting agencies lean liberal and want to impose that ideology on the schools they oversee, even though they aren’t elected or appointed by elected officials.

“They’re pursuing their agenda,” DeSantis said. “The question is: Whose agenda should ultimately govern?”

Gray Rohrer


  • DeSantis has criminal intent

    June 22, 2023 at 11:15 am

    I agree with Ron DeSantis that he hast to be held accountable. We have left this fascist dictator, authoritarian man, literally destroy Florida, and he’s trying to destroy the country. He has implemented Nazi and Mussolini type legislation because he’s had a sycophant legislation. And now he’s trying to destroy the country. DeSantis needs to be locked up.

  • PeterH

    June 22, 2023 at 11:33 am

    State Colleges receive Federal funding and Guaranteed Federal Student Loans.

    Do Florida residents want to lose these benefits? Students transferring from another State could lose their Federal Guaranteed Loans.

    Just how far will Florida’s residents allow DeSantis’s administration push their “culture wars?”

    Republicans are America’s biggest problem!

    Vote all Republicans out of office!

  • Earl Pitts American

    June 22, 2023 at 11:51 am

    Good morning America,
    This lawsuit will be the undoing of the Uncle Joe time in the White House and the straw that broke the camal’s back. Forcing Barak.out of hiding to demand the “DEFCON DEFCON THIS IS NO DRILL” Michelle/Opra tickit for White House 2024 be implemented.
    Most dook 4 brains commenters will see it as just another oppurtunity to disparage Desantis….but thats why we call them “dook 4 brains”.
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts American

    • SteveHC

      June 22, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      “Earl Pitts American” – Your comnents here are appearing to become more and more unhinged and undecipherable as time goes on…

  • SteveHC

    June 22, 2023 at 12:03 pm

    The federal government has every right to set requirements on States and institutions or any other types of organizations related to qualifying for federal funds. Whether or not the federal govenment’s rule requiring schools of higher education to seek its approval before a school can move to a new accrediting agency is unfair to the point of being unconstitutional, illegal or otherwise appropriate for judicial intervention is certainly questionable and will most definitely depend upon both the precise language of the rule and the precise manner in which it is being enforced and otherwise adhered to by the governing agency. Regardless, the whole matter as created by DeSantis et. al. is also obviously yet another ridiculous waste of Florida taxpayers’ hard-earned money in the seemingly never-ending list of similarly wasteful expenditures imposed on all of us citizens by this “I am king and can do whatever I want, citizens be damned’ autocrat of a governor. Pray he doesn’t make it past the Republican Party’s primary elections for the U.S. Presidency for he’ll only get worse in his constant grabbing for more and more un-American autocratic rule and authoritarian power over all of us, turning the country into a banana republic facing derision and disdain from the rest of the planet.

  • BobN

    June 22, 2023 at 1:09 pm

    Relax, everybody! DeSantis has managed to reward his buddy with a $440K salary.

    The Republican party has been poisoned and it’s going to take the country down with it.

    • Michael K

      June 22, 2023 at 1:30 pm

      His buddy Corcoran, with all the fringe benefits, is pulling in closer to $1 million from Aunt Rhonda. Good pay for destroying a good college along with the un-elected Chris Rufo – who was laughed out of town when he tried to run for city council in Seattle. Poor thing got his widdle feelings hurt.

  • Truthfulo

    June 23, 2023 at 3:04 am

    Why aren’t Republicans telling illegal immigrants they NEVER vote Democrat? Show them pics of aborted babies championed by Dems. Latinos don’t like that evil shite. Remind illegals they are being used as great reset SLAVES to enrich liberal billionaires and corrupt politicians..the kind they fled from in their own countries. EDUCATE them. Remind them Dems want to allow men dressed in high heels and stripper outfits to perform strip teases in front of their children in schools, library etc…

    • Dont Say FLA

      June 23, 2023 at 9:04 am

      Because illegal immigrants aren’t as dumb as MAGAs. That’s why.

  • Dont Say FLA

    June 23, 2023 at 9:02 am

    When asked to do something about credit agencies Equifax Experian and TransUnion holding everyone’s identities hostage, creating a marketplace for stolen identities, Rhonda devised a scheme to make it sound like they are doing something by going after “accreditation agencies” lol but it’s just more book burning from Rhonda. It’s nothing about helping anybody from the identity protection racket created so the stolen identity marketplace can profit off of selling “insurance” to people saying “you have such a nice credit score. it would be a shame if something happened to it.” Stupid Rhonda. Harvard and Yale should rescind the degrees they gave them.

  • tom palmer

    June 23, 2023 at 5:27 pm

    I guess it is newsworthy that Ron DeSantis is a plaintiff rather than a defendant in a lawsuit for a change.

Comments are closed.


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