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FGCU President, Dr. Mike Martin, weighs in on Florida's new 'Stop Woke Act'

FGCU President Dr. Mike Martin
James J. Greco
FGCU President Dr. Mike Martin

In recent years as the social and political landscapes have evolved in this country, the role of higher education and the jobs of its leaders have had to evolve as well.

Mike Kiniry spoke with Florida Gulf Coast University President, Dr. Mike Martin, about some of the political pressures Florida universities are navigating, including the "intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity" survey some university students and staff have been asked to complete, and the new so-called ‘Stop Woke Act’ (HB 7) signed by Governor Ron DeSantis in July.

It restricts the way certain race-related issues can be taught in schools and workplace training sessions, and specifically targets training and instruction that would tell students and employees that they “unconsciously” discriminate.

Hear the full conversation with Dr. Mike Martin on Gulf Coast Life.

Dr. Martin is featured in a new WGCU-TV documentary called "Under Pressure: Changes and Challenges in Higher Education.”

This is the statement he sent out on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

To: FGCU Faculty, Staff, Students and Friends
From: Mike Martin
Re: HB7, my perspective

The 2022 Legislature passed HB7 – Individual Freedom Act. At FGCU, we are committed to open, respectful and engaged discussion of issues of contemporary importance. In every instance of our education mission, our overarching objective is to challenge ideas and not each other. We encourage expressions of all points of view as part of our responsibility to be a wellspring of critical thinking and intellectual curiosity.

As HB7 is considered by the courts, FGCU will remain true to this reality: At a great university, “the only orthodoxy is there is no orthodoxy.” This is fundamental to our value system and will remain so with or without a legislative mandate.

  • Stay tuned for more information on HB7 from the Board of Governors and the courts.
  • Note the statement included in course syllabi