2023 Legislature      CS for CS for CS for SB 266, 1st Engrossed
    2         An act relating to higher education; amending s.
    3         1001.706, F.S.; revising the duties of the Board of
    4         Governors relating to the mission of each state
    5         university; revising requirements for the Board of
    6         Governors’ strategic plan relating to the goals and
    7         objectives of the State University System; requiring
    8         the Board of Governors to annually require each state
    9         university to include certain information in its
   10         economic security report; requiring, rather than
   11         authorizing, a Board of Governors regulation to
   12         include a post-tenure review of state university
   13         faculty on a specified basis; amending s. 1001.7065,
   14         F.S.; requiring the Board of Governors Accountability
   15         Plan to annually report certain research expenditures
   16         of a specified amount; revising the number of
   17         standards an institution must meet to receive a
   18         specified designation; creating s. 1001.741, F.S.;
   19         providing that each state university president is
   20         responsible for hiring the provost, the deans, and
   21         full-time faculty; providing that the president has a
   22         duty to assess the performance of the provost and
   23         deans; authorizing the president to delegate hiring
   24         authority to specified individuals and entities;
   25         prohibiting a university from using specified methods
   26         in its admissions or personnel processes; providing
   27         that certain actions regarding personnel may not be
   28         appealed beyond the university president; requiring
   29         each state university board of trustees to have review
   30         procedures for the president’s selection and
   31         reappointment of certain faculty; requiring each state
   32         university president to annually present specified
   33         performance evaluations and salaries to the board of
   34         trustees; amending s. 1004.06, F.S.; prohibiting
   35         specified educational institutions from expending
   36         funds for certain purposes; providing exceptions;
   37         requiring the State Board of Education and the Board
   38         of Governors to adopt rules and regulations,
   39         respectively; creating s. 1004.3841, F.S.; creating
   40         the Institute for Risk Management and Insurance
   41         Education within the College of Business at the
   42         University of Central Florida; requiring that the
   43         institute be located in a specified county; providing
   44         the purpose and goals of the institute; amending s.
   45         1004.6496, F.S.; authorizing the Board of Trustees of
   46         the University of Florida to use charitable donations
   47         in addition to appropriated funds to fund the Hamilton
   48         Center for Classical and Civic Education; requiring
   49         the University of Florida to annually report to the
   50         Governor and Legislature on the transition of the
   51         center to a college; revising the goals of the center;
   52         requiring the University of Florida president to take
   53         specified actions; providing requirements for the use
   54         of appropriated funds; authorizing the university to
   55         provide additional funding to the center; amending s.
   56         1004.6499, F.S.; renaming the Florida Institute of
   57         Politics at the Florida State University as the
   58         Florida Institute for Governance and Civics; providing
   59         the goals of the institute; amending s. 1004.64991,
   60         F.S.; authorizing the Adam Smith Center for the Study
   61         of Economic Freedom to perform certain tasks in order
   62         to carry out its established purpose; amending s.
   63         1007.25, F.S.; revising how general education core
   64         courses are established; requiring the State Board of
   65         Education and the Board of Governors to consider
   66         approval of certain courses; requiring faculty
   67         committees to review and submit recommendations to the
   68         Articulation Coordinating Committee and the
   69         commissioner relating to certain courses by a
   70         specified date and periodically thereafter;
   71         prohibiting general education core courses from
   72         teaching certain topics or presenting information in
   73         specified ways; providing requirements for general
   74         education core courses; requiring specified
   75         educational institutions to offer certain courses;
   76         prohibiting public postsecondary educational
   77         institutions from requiring students to take certain
   78         additional general education core courses; creating s.
   79         1007.55, F.S.; providing legislative findings;
   80         providing requirements for general education courses;
   81         requiring public postsecondary educational institution
   82         boards of trustees and presidents to annually review
   83         and approve general education requirements; requiring
   84         public postsecondary educational institutions to
   85         report certain courses to the department; requiring
   86         the Articulation Coordinating Committee to submit
   87         general education courses to the State Board of
   88         Education and the Board of Governors for action;
   89         providing a penalty for failing to meet such review
   90         and approval requirements; prohibiting public
   91         postsecondary educational institutions from requiring
   92         students to take certain additional general education
   93         courses; requiring the State Board of Education and
   94         the Board of Governors to adopt rules and regulations,
   95         respectively; amending s. 1008.47, F.S.; specifying a
   96         one-time limit on the requirement to change
   97         accrediting agencies; providing for expiration;
   98         prohibiting an accrediting entity from requiring a
   99         public postsecondary institution to violate state law;
  100         amending s. 1009.26, F.S.; requiring the Board of
  101         Governors to identify state-approved teacher
  102         preparation programs eligible for a tuition waiver;
  103         providing that certain postsecondary fee waivers
  104         continue until specified criteria are met; providing
  105         an effective date.
  107  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
  109         Section 1. Paragraphs (a) through (d) of subsection (5) and
  110  paragraph (b) of subsection (6) of section 1001.706, Florida
  111  Statutes, are amended to read:
  112         1001.706 Powers and duties of the Board of Governors.—
  114         (a) The Legislature intends that the Board of Governors
  115  shall align the missions of each constituent university with the
  116  academic success of its students; the existing and emerging
  117  economic development needs of the state; the national reputation
  118  of its faculty and its academic and research programs; the
  119  quantity of externally generated research, patents, and
  120  licenses; and the strategic and accountability plans required in
  121  paragraphs (b) and (c). The Board of Governors shall
  122  periodically review the mission of each constituent university
  123  and make updates or revisions as needed. Upon completion of a
  124  review of the mission, the board shall review existing academic
  125  programs for alignment with the mission. The board shall include
  126  in its review a directive to each constituent university
  127  regarding its programs for any curriculum that violates s.
  128  1000.05 or that is based on theories that systemic racism,
  129  sexism, oppression, and privilege are inherent in the
  130  institutions of the United States and were created to maintain
  131  social, political, and economic inequities. The mission
  132  alignment and strategic plan must shall consider peer
  133  institutions at the constituent universities. The mission
  134  alignment and strategic plan must shall acknowledge that
  135  universities that have a national and international impact have
  136  the greatest capacity to promote the state’s economic
  137  development through: new discoveries, patents, licenses, and
  138  technologies that generate state businesses of global
  139  importance; research achievements through external grants and
  140  contracts that are comparable to nationally recognized and
  141  ranked universities; the creation of a resource rich academic
  142  environment that attracts high-technology business and venture
  143  capital to the state; and this generation’s finest minds
  144  focusing on solving the state’s economic, social, environmental,
  145  and legal problems in the areas of life sciences, water,
  146  sustainability, energy, and health care. A nationally recognized
  147  and ranked university that has a global perspective and impact
  148  must shall be afforded the opportunity to enable and protect the
  149  university’s competitiveness on the global stage in fair
  150  competition with other institutions of other states in the
  151  highest Carnegie Classification.
  152         (b) The Board of Governors shall develop a strategic plan
  153  specifying goals and objectives for the State University System
  154  and each constituent university, including each university’s
  155  contribution to overall system goals and objectives. The
  156  strategic plan must:
  157         1. Include performance metrics and standards common for all
  158  institutions and metrics and standards unique to institutions
  159  depending on institutional core missions, including, but not
  160  limited to, student admission requirements, retention,
  161  graduation, percentage of graduates who have attained
  162  employment, percentage of graduates enrolled in continued
  163  education, licensure passage, nondegree credential attainment,
  164  average wages of employed graduates, average cost per graduate,
  165  excess hours, student loan burden and default rates, faculty
  166  awards, total annual research expenditures, patents, licenses
  167  and royalties, intellectual property, startup companies, annual
  168  giving, endowments, and well-known, highly respected national
  169  rankings for institutional and program achievements.
  170         2. Consider reports and recommendations of the Florida
  171  Talent Development Council under s. 1004.015 and the
  172  Articulation Coordinating Committee under s. 1007.01.
  173         3. Include student enrollment and performance data
  174  delineated by method of instruction, including, but not limited
  175  to, traditional, online, and distance learning instruction.
  176         4. Include criteria for designating baccalaureate degree
  177  and master’s degree programs at specified universities as high
  178  demand programs of emphasis. The programs of emphasis list
  179  adopted by the Board of Governors before July 1, 2021, shall be
  180  used for the 2021-2022 academic year. Beginning in the 2022-2023
  181  academic year, the Board of Governors shall adopt the criteria
  182  to determine value for and prioritization of degree credentials
  183  and degree programs established by the Credentials Review
  184  Committee under s. 445.004 for designating high-demand programs
  185  of emphasis. The Board of Governors must review designated
  186  programs of emphasis, at a minimum, every 3 years to ensure
  187  alignment with the prioritization of degree credentials and
  188  degree programs identified by the Credentials Review Committee.
  189         5. Include criteria for nondegree credentials.
  190         (c) The Board of Governors shall develop an accountability
  191  plan for the State University System and each constituent
  192  university. The accountability plan must address institutional
  193  and system achievement of goals and objectives specified in the
  194  strategic plan adopted pursuant to paragraph (b) and must be
  195  submitted as part of its legislative budget request. Each
  196  university shall submit, as a component of the university’s
  197  annual accountability plan:,
  198         1. Information on the effectiveness of its plan for
  199  improving 4-year graduation rates; and
  200         2. The level of financial assistance provided to students
  201  pursuant to paragraph (h).
  202         (d) Beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year and annually
  203  thereafter, The Board of Governors shall annually require a
  204  state university prior to registration to provide each enrolled
  205  student electronic access to the economic security report of
  206  employment and earning outcomes prepared by the Department of
  207  Economic Opportunity pursuant to s. 445.07. In addition, the
  208  Board of Governors shall require a state university to provide
  209  each student electronic access to the following information each
  210  year prior to registration using the data described in s.
  211  1008.39:
  212         1. The top 25 percent of degrees reported by the university
  213  in terms of highest full-time job placement and highest average
  214  annualized earnings in the year after earning the degree.
  215         2. The bottom 10 percent of degrees reported by the
  216  university in terms of lowest full-time job placement and lowest
  217  average annualized earnings in the year after earning the
  218  degree.
  220         (b) The Board of Governors shall may adopt a regulation
  221  requiring each tenured state university faculty member to
  222  undergo a comprehensive post-tenure review every 5 years. The
  223  board may include other considerations in the regulation, but
  224  the regulation must address:
  225         1. Accomplishments and productivity;
  226         2. Assigned duties in research, teaching, and service;
  227         3. Performance metrics, evaluations, and ratings; and
  228         4. Recognition and compensation considerations, as well as
  229  improvement plans and consequences for underperformance.
  230         Section 2. Paragraph (m) is added to subsection (2) of
  231  section 1001.7065, Florida Statutes, and subsection (3) of that
  232  section is amended, to read:
  233         1001.7065 Preeminent state research universities program.—
  235  following academic and research excellence standards are
  236  established for the preeminent state research universities
  237  program and shall be reported annually in the Board of Governors
  238  Accountability Plan:
  239         (m) Total annual STEM-related research expenditures,
  240  including federal research expenditures, of $50 million or more.
  242         (a) The Board of Governors shall designate each state
  243  university that annually meets at least 12 11 of the 13 12
  244  academic and research excellence standards identified in
  245  subsection (2) as a “preeminent state research university.”
  246         (b) The Board of Governors shall designate each state
  247  university that annually meets at least 7 6 of the 13 12
  248  academic and research excellence standards identified in
  249  subsection (2) as an “emerging preeminent state research
  250  university.”
  251         Section 3. Section 1001.741, Florida Statutes, is created
  252  to read:
  253         1001.741State university personnel.—
  254         (1) Except as delegated pursuant to paragraph (a), each
  255  state university president has the final authority for hiring
  256  the provost, the deans, and all full-time faculty for the
  257  university, and has an ongoing duty to assess the performance,
  258  productivity, and employment practices of the university’s
  259  provost and deans. The president of the university is encouraged
  260  to engage in faculty recruiting as appropriate, and shall
  261  provide a regular report and recommendations on employment
  262  practices to the board at least twice annually.
  263         (a) The president may delegate hiring authority to
  264  individuals on the university’s executive management team within
  265  the president’s office, to the provost, or to individual deans;
  266  however, the president or the person delegated such hiring
  267  authority is not bound by the recommendations or opinions of
  268  faculty or other individuals.
  269         (b) A state university may not require any statement,
  270  pledge, or oath other than to uphold general and federal law,
  271  the United States Constitution, and the State Constitution as a
  272  part of any admissions, hiring, employment, promotion, tenure,
  273  disciplinary, or evaluation process.
  274         (2) Notwithstanding s. 447.401 or any other law related to
  275  faculty grievance procedures, personnel actions or decisions
  276  regarding faculty, including in the areas of evaluations,
  277  promotions, tenure, discipline, or termination, may not be
  278  appealed beyond the level of a university president or designee.
  279  Such actions or decisions must have as their terminal step a
  280  final agency disposition, which must be issued in writing to the
  281  faculty member, and are not subject to arbitration. The filing
  282  of a grievance does not toll the action or decision of the
  283  university, including the termination of pay and benefits of a
  284  suspended or terminated faculty member.
  285         (3) Each state university board of trustees must have
  286  procedures for the review of the president’s selection and
  287  reappointment of each member of the university’s executive
  288  management team, and his or her respective contract and annual
  289  salary, before such contracts and salaries become effective, in
  290  accordance with the personnel program established by the Board
  291  of Governors.
  292         (4) Each state university president shall annually present
  293  to the state university board of trustees the results of
  294  performance evaluations and associated annual salaries for all
  295  evaluated academic and administrative personnel earning an
  296  annual salary of $200,000 or more, regardless of the funding
  297  source for such salaries. The results may be presented in a
  298  summary or written format.
  299         Section 4. Section 1004.06, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  300  read:
  301         1004.06 Prohibited expenditures.—
  302         (1)A No Florida College System institution, state
  303  university, Florida College System institution direct-support
  304  organization, or state university direct-support organization
  305  may not shall expend any funds, regardless of source, to
  306  purchase membership in, or goods and services from, any
  307  organization that discriminates on the basis of race, color,
  308  national origin, sex, disability gender, or religion.
  309         (2)A Florida College System institution, state university,
  310  Florida College System institution direct-support organization,
  311  or state university direct-support organization may not expend
  312  any state or federal funds to promote, support, or maintain any
  313  programs or campus activities that:
  314         (a)Violate s. 1000.05; or
  315         (b)Advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion, or
  316  promote or engage in political or social activism, as defined by
  317  rules of the State Board of Education and regulations of the
  318  Board of Governors.
  320  Student fees to support student-led organizations are permitted
  321  notwithstanding any speech or expressive activity by such
  322  organizations which would otherwise violate this subsection,
  323  provided that the public funds must be allocated to student-led
  324  organizations pursuant to written policies or regulations of
  325  each Florida College System institution or state university, as
  326  applicable. Use of institution facilities by student-led
  327  organizations is permitted notwithstanding any speech or
  328  expressive activity by such organizations which would otherwise
  329  violate this subsection, provided that such use must be granted
  330  to student-led organizations pursuant to written policies or
  331  regulations of each Florida College System institution or state
  332  university, as applicable.
  333         (3)Subsection (2) does not prohibit programs, campus
  334  activities, or functions required for compliance with general or
  335  federal laws or regulations; for obtaining or retaining
  336  institutional or discipline-specific accreditation with the
  337  approval of either the State Board of Education or the Board of
  338  Governors; or for access programs for military veterans, Pell
  339  Grant recipients, first generation college students,
  340  nontraditional students, “2+2” transfer students from the
  341  Florida College System, students from low-income families, or
  342  students with unique abilities.
  343         (4) The State Board of Education and the Board of Governors
  344  shall adopt rules and regulations, respectively, to implement
  345  this section.
  346         Section 5. Section 1004.3841, Florida Statutes, is created
  347  to read:
  348         1004.3841The Institute for Risk Management and Insurance
  349  Education.—The Institute for Risk Management and Insurance
  350  Education is established within the College of Business at the
  351  University of Central Florida. Since insurance and risk
  352  management is a major industry in this state, with a
  353  concentration of such industry in Volusia County, the institute
  354  must be located in Volusia County. Like many other industries in
  355  the state, the insurance and risk management industry is being
  356  revolutionized by, among other things, the integration of
  357  technology, predictive analytics, and data science, and is
  358  becoming more complex, given its exposure to transformative
  359  trends in the economy and environment. The purpose of the
  360  institute is to respond to the ever-evolving insurance and risk
  361  management industry and the present and emerging needs of this
  362  state and its residents. The goals of the institute are to:
  363         (1)Pursue technological innovations that advance risk
  364  valuation models and operational efficiencies in the insurance
  365  industry.
  366         (2)Drive the development of workforce competencies in data
  367  analytics, system-level thinking, technology integration,
  368  entrepreneurship, and actuarial science.
  369         (3)Leverage the University of Central Florida’s world
  370  class assets in data science, artificial intelligence, computer
  371  science, engineering, finance, economics, and sales.
  372         (4)Take advantage of the University of Central Florida’s
  373  robust portfolio of academic program offerings and draw on
  374  faculty and industry experts in diverse fields, including
  375  actuarial science, computer science, economics, engineering,
  376  environmental science, finance, forensics, law, management,
  377  marketing, and psychology.
  378         (5)Develop and offer risk management and insurance
  379  education, including education that recognizes risks in areas
  380  such as the environment, pandemic disease, and digital security.
  381         (6)Offer programs, workshops, case studies, and applied
  382  research studies that integrate technology and artificial
  383  intelligence with soft skills while preparing students and
  384  professionals for the technology-enabled insurance industry of
  385  the future.
  386         Section 6. Section 1004.6496, Florida Statutes, is amended
  387  to read:
  388         1004.6496 Hamilton Center for Classical and Civic
  389  Education.—
  390         (1) The Board of Trustees of the University of Florida may
  391  use funds as provided in the General Appropriations Act and
  392  charitable donations to establish and fund the Hamilton Center
  393  for Classical and Civic Education as an academic unit within the
  394  University of Florida. The purpose of the center is to support
  395  teaching and research concerning the ideas, traditions, and
  396  texts that form the foundations of Western and American
  397  civilization.
  398         (2) Beginning January 1, 2025, and by each January 1
  399  thereafter, the University of Florida must report to the
  400  Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the
  401  House of Representatives on the progress toward establishing the
  402  center as a permanent college at the university. The report must
  403  include a timeline for establishing the college, enrollment and
  404  educational outcomes and future goals for enrollment and
  405  educational outcomes, current financial progress and future
  406  financial needs, and any recommendation for changes in general
  407  law.
  408         (3) The goals of the center are to:
  409         (a) Educate university students in core texts and great
  410  debates of Western civilization and the Great Books.
  411         1. The center is responsible for developing curriculum and
  412  courses to satisfy the requirement for the competency in civil
  413  discourse.
  414         2. Courses developed under this paragraph may be used to
  415  satisfy the requirements of s. 1007.25(5).
  416         (b) Educate university students in the principles, ideals,
  417  and institutions of the American political order.
  418         (c) Educate university students in the foundations of
  419  responsible leadership and informed citizenship.
  420         (d) Provide programming and training related to civic
  421  education and the values of open inquiry and civil discourse to
  422  support the K-20 system.
  423         (e) Coordinate with the Florida Institute for Governance
  424  and Civics of Politics created pursuant to s. 1004.6499 and the
  425  Adam Smith Center for the Study of Economic Freedom created
  426  pursuant to s. 1004.64991 and assist in the curation and
  427  implementation of Portraits in Patriotism created pursuant to s.
  428  1003.44.
  429         (f) Develop educational programming and a plan for the
  430  implementation of such programming to ensure that all university
  431  students demonstrate competency in civil discourse.
  432         (4) In order to carry out the goals set forth in subsection
  433  (3), the president of the University of Florida must:
  434         (a)Annually update the board of trustees on the center’s
  435  progress toward developing educational programming to ensure
  436  that all students at the university demonstrate competency in
  437  civil discourse. The president’s report must identify a timeline
  438  and support necessary for the university to achieve this goal.
  439         (b)Guide the university’s leadership and the center to
  440  ensure that the center is able to enroll students, hire faculty,
  441  ensure a pathway to tenure for faculty, develop curricula and
  442  courses, establish certificate and degree programs, establish
  443  major and minor programs, and fulfill other actions approved by
  444  the president of the university.
  445         (5) Funds appropriated specifically to the center may not
  446  be used for any other purpose; however, the university may
  447  provide additional funding as available to the center.
  448         Section 7. Section 1004.6499, Florida Statutes, is amended
  449  to read:
  450         1004.6499 Florida Institute for Governance and Civics of
  451  Politics.—
  452         (1) The Florida Institute for Governance and Civics of
  453  Politics is established at the Florida State University within
  454  the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy. The purpose of
  455  the institute is to provide the southeastern region of the
  456  United States with a world class, bipartisan, nationally
  457  renowned institute of politics.
  458         (2) The goals of the institute are to:
  459         (a) Provide students with access to an interdisciplinary
  460  hub that will develop academically rigorous scholarship and
  461  coursework on the origins of the American system of government,
  462  its foundational documents, its subsequent political traditions
  463  and evolutions, and its impact on comparative political systems
  464  Motivate students throughout the Florida State University to
  465  become aware of the significance of government and civic
  466  engagement at all levels and politics in general.
  467         (b) Encourage civic literacy in this state through the
  468  development of educational tools and resources for K-12 and
  469  postsecondary students which foster an understanding of how
  470  individual rights, constitutionalism, separation of powers, and
  471  federalism function within the American system Provide students
  472  with an opportunity to be politically active and civically
  473  engaged.
  474         (c) Model civic discourse that recognizes the importance of
  475  viewpoint diversity, intellectual rigor, and an evidence-based
  476  approach to history Nurture a greater awareness of and passion
  477  for public service and politics.
  478         (d) Plan and host forums to allow students and guests to
  479  hear from exceptional individuals who have excelled in a wide
  480  range of sectors of American life, to highlight the
  481  possibilities created by individual achievement and
  482  entrepreneurial vision and interact with experts from
  483  government, politics, policy, and journalism on a frequent
  484  basis.
  485         (e) Become a national and state resource on using polling
  486  instruments and other assessments to measure civic literacy and
  487  make recommendations for improving civic education information
  488  and survey methodology.
  489         (f) Provide fellowships and internship opportunities to
  490  students in government, nonprofit organizations, and community
  491  organizations.
  492         (g) Create through scholarship, original research,
  493  publications, symposia, testimonials, and other means a body of
  494  resources that can be accessed by students, scholars, and
  495  government officials to understand the innovations in public
  496  policy in this state over a rolling 30-year time period Provide
  497  training sessions for newly elected state and local public
  498  officials.
  499         (h) Organize and sponsor conferences, symposia, and
  500  workshops throughout this state to educate and inform citizens,
  501  elected officials, and appointed policymakers regarding
  502  effective policymaking techniques and processes.
  503         (i) Create and promote research and awareness regarding
  504  politics, citizen involvement, and public service.
  505         (j) Collaborate with related policy institutes and research
  506  activities at the Florida State University and other
  507  institutions of higher education to motivate, increase, and
  508  sustain citizen involvement in public affairs.
  509         Section 8. Subsection (3) is added to section 1004.64991,
  510  Florida Statutes, to read:
  511         1004.64991 The Adam Smith Center for the Study of Economic
  512  Freedom.—
  513         (3) In order to carry out the purpose set forth in this
  514  section, the institute is authorized to:
  515         (a) Hire necessary faculty and staff pursuant to s.
  516  1001.741;
  517         (b) Enroll students;
  518         (c) Develop curriculum and offer new courses, including
  519  honors courses, certificates, and major and minor programs;
  520         (d) Hold events, including fundraisers;
  521         (e) Fulfill other actions approved by the president of the
  522  university; and
  523         (f) Generate resources based on student credit hour
  524  enrollment, in the same manner as any college within the
  525  institution.
  526         Section 9. Subsection (3) of section 1007.25, Florida
  527  Statutes, is amended to read:
  528         1007.25 General education courses; common prerequisites;
  529  other degree requirements.—
  530         (3) The chair of the State Board of Education and the chair
  531  of the Board of Governors, or their designees, shall jointly
  532  appoint faculty committees to review and recommend to the
  533  Articulation Coordinating Committee for approval by the State
  534  Board of Education and the Board of Governors identify statewide
  535  general education core course options for inclusion in the
  536  statewide course numbering system established under s. 1007.24.
  537  Faculty committees shall, by July 1, 2024, and by July 1 every 4
  538  years thereafter, review and submit recommendations to the
  539  Articulation Coordinating Committee and the commissioner for the
  540  removal, alignment, realignment, or addition of general
  541  education core courses that satisfy the requirements of this
  542  subsection.
  543         (a) General education core course options shall consist of
  544  a maximum of five courses within each of the subject areas of
  545  communication, mathematics, social sciences, humanities, and
  546  natural sciences. The core courses may be revised, or the five
  547  course maximum within each subject area may be exceeded, if
  548  approved by the State Board of Education and the Board of
  549  Governors, as recommended by the subject area faculty committee
  550  and approved by the Articulation Coordinating Committee as
  551  necessary for a subject area.
  552         (b) Each general education core course option must contain
  553  high-level academic and critical thinking skills and common
  554  competencies that students must demonstrate to successfully
  555  complete the course.
  556         (c) General education core courses may not distort
  557  significant historical events or include a curriculum that
  558  teaches identity politics, violates s. 1000.05, or is based on
  559  theories that systemic racism, sexism, oppression, and privilege
  560  are inherent in the institutions of the United States and were
  561  created to maintain social, political, and economic inequities.
  562         (d) General education core courses must meet the following
  563  standards:
  564         1.Communication courses must afford students the ability
  565  to communicate effectively, including the ability to write
  566  clearly and engage in public speaking.
  567         2.Humanities courses must afford students the ability to
  568  think critically through the mastering of subjects concerned
  569  with human culture, especially literature, history, art, music,
  570  and philosophy, and must include selections from the Western
  571  canon.
  572         3.Social science courses must afford students an
  573  understanding of the basic social and behavioral science
  574  concepts and principles used in the analysis of behavior and
  575  past and present social, political, and economic issues.
  576         4.Natural science courses must afford students the ability
  577  to critically examine and evaluate the principles of the
  578  scientific method, model construction, and use the scientific
  579  method to explain natural experiences and phenomena.
  580         5.Mathematics courses must afford students a mastery of
  581  foundational mathematical and computation models and methods by
  582  applying such models and methods in problem solving.
  583         (e) Beginning with students initially entering a Florida
  584  College System institution or state university in 2015-2016 and
  585  thereafter, each student must complete at least one identified
  586  core course in each subject area as part of the general
  587  education course requirements. Beginning in the 2022-2023
  588  academic year and thereafter, students entering a technical
  589  degree education program as defined in s. 1004.02(13) must
  590  complete at least one identified core course in each subject
  591  area as part of the general education course requirements before
  592  a degree is awarded.
  593         (f) All public postsecondary educational institutions shall
  594  offer at least one general education core course in each of the
  595  identified subject areas and accept these courses as meeting
  596  general education core course requirements upon transfer,
  597  regardless of whether the receiving institution offers the
  598  identical general education core courses. The remaining general
  599  education course requirements shall be identified by each
  600  institution as approved in accordance with this section and
  601  listed in the statewide course numbering system and reported to
  602  the department by their statewide course number.
  603         (g) A public postsecondary educational institution may not
  604  require a student to complete an additional course to meet a
  605  subject area distribution requirement that was completed by the
  606  student with a course that has since been removed as a general
  607  education core course.
  608         (h) The general education core course options shall be
  609  adopted in rule by the State Board of Education and in
  610  regulation by the Board of Governors.
  611         Section 10. Section 1007.55, Florida Statutes, is created
  612  to read:
  613         1007.55 General education course principles, standards, and
  614  content.—
  615         (1) The Legislature finds it necessary to ensure that every
  616  undergraduate student of a Florida public postsecondary
  617  educational institution graduates as an informed citizen through
  618  participation in rigorous general education courses that promote
  619  and preserve the constitutional republic through traditional,
  620  historically accurate, and high-quality coursework. General
  621  education courses should provide broad foundational knowledge to
  622  help students develop intellectual skills and habits that enable
  623  them to become more effective and lifelong learners. Courses
  624  with a curriculum based on unproven, speculative, or exploratory
  625  content are best suited as elective or specific program
  626  prerequisite credit, not general education credit. General
  627  education courses must:
  628         (a)Meet the course standards as provided in s. 1007.25;
  629  and
  630         (b) Whenever applicable, provide instruction on the
  631  historical background and philosophical foundation of Western
  632  civilization and this nation’s historical documents, such as the
  633  Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, the
  634  Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments, and the Federalist
  635  Papers.
  636         (2) Public postsecondary educational institution boards of
  637  trustees and presidents are responsible for annually reviewing
  638  and approving, at a public meeting, general education course
  639  requirements, as authorized and approved in accordance with ss.
  640  1007.24 and 1007.25 and this section, at their respective
  641  institutions. The following must be included for each listed
  642  general education course:
  643         (a) The general education distribution area;
  644         (b) The number of state universities that offer the course
  645  and the number of Florida College System institutions that offer
  646  the course; and
  647         (c) The course level.
  648         (3) Public postsecondary educational institutions must
  649  report courses meeting institutional general education subject
  650  requirements to the department by their statewide course number.
  651         (4) In performing it duties under ss. 1007.24 and 1007.25,
  652  by December 1, 2024, and each December 1 thereafter, the
  653  Articulation Coordinating Committee shall submit to the State
  654  Board of Education and the Board of Governors courses that have
  655  been approved by public postsecondary educational institutions
  656  as meeting general education requirements. The listing of
  657  general education courses must include the information in
  658  paragraphs (2)(a), (b), and (c). The State Board of Education
  659  and the Board of Governors must approve or reject the list of
  660  general education courses for each Florida College System
  661  institution and state university, respectively.
  662         (5) Public postsecondary educational institutions that fail
  663  to comply with the requirements of this section are not eligible
  664  to receive performance-based funding pursuant to s. 1001.66 or
  665  s. 1001.92.
  666         (6) A public postsecondary educational institution may not
  667  require a student to take an additional course to meet a subject
  668  area distribution requirement that was completed by the student
  669  with a course that has since been removed as a general education
  670  course.
  671         (7) The State Board of Education and the Board of Governors
  672  shall adopt rules and regulations, respectively, to implement
  673  this section.
  674         Section 11. Present subsections (3) and (4) of section
  675  1008.47, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as subsections (4)
  676  and (5), respectively, a new subsection (3) is added to that
  677  section, and subsection (2) and present subsection (3) of that
  678  section are amended, to read:
  679         1008.47 Postsecondary education institution accreditation.—
  680         (2) ACCREDITATION.—
  681         (a) By September 1, 2022, the Board of Governors or the
  682  State Board of Education, as applicable, shall identify and
  683  determine the accrediting agencies or associations best suited
  684  to serve as an accreditor for public postsecondary institutions.
  685  Such accrediting agencies or associations must be recognized by
  686  the database created and maintained by the United States
  687  Department of Education. A public postsecondary institution may
  688  not be accredited by the same accrediting agency or association
  689  for consecutive accreditation cycles. In the year following
  690  reaffirmation or fifth-year review by its accrediting agencies
  691  or associations, each public postsecondary institution must seek
  692  and obtain accreditation from an accrediting agency or
  693  association identified by the Board of Governors or State Board
  694  of Education, respectively, before its next reaffirmation or
  695  fifth-year review date. The requirements in this section are
  696  limited to a one-time change in accreditation. The requirements
  697  of this subsection are not applicable to those professional,
  698  graduate, departmental, or certificate programs at public
  699  postsecondary institutions that have specific accreditation
  700  requirements or best practices, including, but not limited to,
  701  law, pharmacy, engineering, or other similarly situated
  702  educational programs.
  703         (b) Once a public postsecondary institution is required to
  704  seek and obtain accreditation from an agency or association
  705  identified pursuant to paragraph (a), the institution shall seek
  706  accreditation from a regional accrediting agency or association
  707  and provide quarterly reports of its progress to the Board of
  708  Governors or State Board of Education, as applicable. If each
  709  regional accreditation agency or association identified pursuant
  710  to paragraph (a) has refused to grant candidacy status to an
  711  institution, the institution must shall seek and obtain
  712  accreditation from any accrediting agency or association that is
  713  different from its current accrediting agency or association and
  714  is recognized by the database created and maintained by the
  715  United States Department of Education. If a public postsecondary
  716  institution is not granted candidacy status before its next
  717  reaffirmation or fifth-year review date, the institution may
  718  remain with its current accrediting agency or association.
  719         (c) This subsection expires December 31, 2032.
  720         (3) PROHIBITION.—An accrediting agency or association may
  721  not compel any public postsecondary institution to violate state
  722  law, and any adverse action upon the institution based upon the
  723  institution’s compliance with state law constitutes a violation
  724  of this section that may be enforced through subsection (4),
  725  except to the extent that state law is preempted by a federal
  726  law that recognizes the necessity of the accreditation standard
  727  or requirement.
  728         (4)(3) CAUSE OF ACTION.—A postsecondary education
  729  institution negatively impacted by retaliatory or adverse action
  730  taken against the postsecondary education institution by an
  731  accrediting agency or association may bring an action against
  732  the accrediting agency or association in a court of competent
  733  jurisdiction and may obtain liquidated damages in up to the
  734  amount of federal financial aid received by the postsecondary
  735  education institution, court costs, and reasonable attorney
  736  fees.
  737         Section 12. Paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of subsection (18)
  738  of section 1009.26, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  739         1009.26 Fee Waivers.—
  740         (18)(a) For every course in a Program of Strategic
  741  Emphasis, or in a state-approved teacher preparation program
  742  identified by the Board of Governors, as identified in
  743  subparagraph 3., in which a student is enrolled, a state
  744  university shall waive 100 percent of the tuition and fees for
  745  an equivalent course in such program for a student who:
  746         1. Is a resident for tuition purposes under s. 1009.21.
  747         2. Has earned at least 60 semester credit hours towards a
  748  baccalaureate degree within 2 academic years after initial
  749  enrollment at a Florida public postsecondary institution.
  750         3. Enrolls in one of 10 Programs of Strategic Emphasis as
  751  adopted by the Board of Governors or in one of two state
  752  approved teacher preparation programs identified by the Board of
  753  Governors. The Board of Governors shall adopt eight Programs of
  754  Strategic Emphasis in science, technology, engineering, or math;
  755  and, beginning with the 2022-2023 academic year, two Programs of
  756  Strategic Emphasis in the critical workforce gap analysis
  757  category; and beginning with the 2023-2024 academic year, two
  758  state-approved teacher preparation programs for which a student
  759  may be eligible to receive the tuition and fee waiver authorized
  760  by this subsection. The programs identified by the board must
  761  reflect the priorities of the state and be offered at a majority
  762  of state universities at the time the Board of Governors
  763  approves the list.
  764         (b) A waiver granted under this subsection is applicable
  765  only for upper-level courses and up to 110 percent of the number
  766  of required credit hours of the baccalaureate degree program for
  767  which the student is enrolled. A student granted a waiver under
  768  this subsection shall continue receiving the waiver until the
  769  student graduates, exceeds the number of allowable credit hours,
  770  or withdraws from an eligible program, regardless of whether the
  771  program is removed from the approved list of eligible programs
  772  subsequent to the student’s enrollment.
  773         (c) Upon enrollment in a Program of Strategic Emphasis or
  774  in one of two teacher preparation programs identified by the
  775  Board of Governors, the tuition and fees waived under this
  776  subsection must be reported for state funding purposes under ss.
  777  1009.534 and 1009.535 and must be disbursed to the student. The
  778  amount disbursed to the student must shall be equal to the award
  779  amount the student has received under s. 1009.534(2) or s.
  780  1009.535(2).
  781         Section 13. This act shall take effect July 1, 2023.