Florida Senate - 2023                                     SB 958
       By Senator Perry
       9-01519A-23                                            2023958__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to postsecondary educational
    3         institutions; amending ss. 1001.03 and 1001.706, F.S.;
    4         revising the date by which the State Board of
    5         Education and the Board of Governors, respectively,
    6         must annually compile and publish specified
    7         assessments; creating s. 1001.93, F.S.; providing
    8         legislative findings; defining terms; requiring the
    9         Board of Governors of the State University System to
   10         establish an Office of Public Policy Events; requiring
   11         the office to establish satellite offices at each
   12         state university; providing duties of the office,
   13         including duties relating to hosting specified events
   14         and recordings of such events, maintaining calendars,
   15         and reporting requirements; authorizing a state
   16         university to assume the responsibilities of the
   17         satellite office on its campus; providing requirements
   18         for such state universities; requiring satellite
   19         offices to report to specified state university
   20         offices; providing requirements for events of the
   21         office; amending s. 1004.097, F.S.; prohibiting public
   22         institutions of higher education from requiring the
   23         completion of a political loyalty test or for persons
   24         to meet certain qualifications; providing requirements
   25         for such prohibited tests and qualifications;
   26         requiring the State Board of Education and the Board
   27         of Governors to adopt rules and regulations,
   28         respectively, for specified purposes; providing
   29         severability; amending s. 1004.26, F.S.; designating
   30         the Florida Student Association as the nonprofit
   31         advocacy organization for students of the State
   32         University System; requiring the Chancellor of the
   33         State University System, with approval from the Board
   34         of Governors, to designate another organization to
   35         serve such students under certain circumstances;
   36         providing membership for the board of directors of the
   37         association; providing requirements for such board of
   38         directors relating to the board’s chair and the
   39         association’s president; requiring the board of
   40         directors to adopt certain bylaws; providing an
   41         effective date.
   43  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   45         Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subsection (19) of section
   46  1001.03, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   47         1001.03 Specific powers of State Board of Education.—
   50         (b) The State Board of Education shall require each Florida
   51  College System institution to conduct an annual assessment of
   52  the intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity at that
   53  institution. The State Board of Education shall select or create
   54  an objective, nonpartisan, and statistically valid survey to be
   55  used by each institution which considers the extent to which
   56  competing ideas and perspectives are presented and members of
   57  the college community, including students, faculty, and staff,
   58  feel free to express their beliefs and viewpoints on campus and
   59  in the classroom. The State Board of Education shall annually
   60  compile and publish the assessments by December 31 September 1
   61  of each year, beginning on December 31, 2024 September 1, 2022.
   62  The State Board of Education may adopt rules to implement this
   63  paragraph.
   64         Section 2. Paragraph (b) of subsection (13) of section
   65  1001.706, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   66         1001.706 Powers and duties of the Board of Governors.—
   69         (b) The Board of Governors shall require each state
   70  university to conduct an annual assessment of the intellectual
   71  freedom and viewpoint diversity at that institution. The Board
   72  of Governors shall select or create an objective, nonpartisan,
   73  and statistically valid survey to be used by each state
   74  university which considers the extent to which competing ideas
   75  and perspectives are presented and members of the university
   76  community, including students, faculty, and staff, feel free to
   77  express their beliefs and viewpoints on campus and in the
   78  classroom. The Board of Governors shall annually compile and
   79  publish the assessments by December 31 September 1 of each year,
   80  beginning on December 31, 2024 September 1, 2022.
   81         Section 3. Section 1001.93, Florida Statutes, is created to
   82  read:
   83         1001.93The Office of Public Policy Events within the State
   84  University System.—
   85         (1) The Legislature finds that the advancement of knowledge
   86  is the fundamental purpose of the State University System and
   87  that such advancement is facilitated by the fearless sifting and
   88  winnowing of a wide diversity of views and that the open
   89  discussion and debate of contested public policy issues from
   90  diverse perspectives provides essential preparation for mature
   91  citizenship and an informed exercise of the right to vote.
   92         (2) For purposes of this section, the term:
   93         (a) “Debate” means an event at which two or more
   94  participants speak in favor of opposing approaches to the same
   95  public policy dispute, after which each participant is allotted
   96  time to address and rebut the position presented by the opposing
   97  speakers.
   98         (b) “Group forum” means an event at which two or more
   99  speakers address a public policy dispute from divergent or
  100  opposing perspectives, after which each participant is allotted
  101  time to address questions from the audience and to comment on
  102  the other speakers’ positions.
  103         (3) The Board of Governors of the State University System
  104  shall establish, fund, and staff an Office of Public Policy
  105  Events. The office must have a satellite office at each state
  106  university within the State University System. The office must,
  107  at a minimum:
  108         (a)1. Organize, publicize, and stage a substantial number
  109  of debates, group forums, and individual lectures at each state
  110  university that address, from multiple, divergent, and opposing
  111  perspectives, an extensive range of public policy issues widely
  112  discussed and debated in society at large.
  113         2. Such debates, group forums, and lectures must include
  114  speakers who represent widely held views on opposing sides of
  115  the most widely discussed public policy issues of the day and
  116  who hold a wide diversity of perspectives from within and
  117  outside of the state university community.
  118         3. If the office is unable to readily find an advocate from
  119  within the state university community who is well-versed in a
  120  perspective, the office shall invite a speaker who is able to
  121  represent such perspective. The office shall, when necessary,
  122  provide such speakers who are not from within the state
  123  university community with per diem and a reimbursement for
  124  travel expenses.
  125         (b)1. Maintain a permanent, publicly accessible,
  126  searchable, and up-to-date calendar in print, on the office’s
  127  website, and on each state university’s website listing all of
  128  the events sponsored by the office and all other debates, group
  129  forums, and individual lectures open to the entire campus
  130  community at the state university that address public policy
  131  issues. The calendar must itemize the title of the event or
  132  lecture, the name and institutional affiliation of the speaker
  133  or speakers, and the office, institute, department, program, or
  134  organization that sponsored the event, excluding those events
  135  sponsored by off-campus groups in rented state university
  136  facilities.
  137         2. Beginning September 1, 2024, and annually each September
  138  1 thereafter, provide to the Governor, the Legislature, and to
  139  each state university a printed and an electronic copy of the
  140  previous academic year’s calendar for each state university.
  141  Such calendars must be arranged chronologically. Such calendars
  142  must be kept in the library system of each state university.
  143         (c) Make publicly available, in an online format, a
  144  complete video recording of every debate, group forum, and
  145  individual lecture organized by the office. The video recording
  146  for an event organized by the office must be posted on the
  147  office’s website within 10 business days after the event. Such
  148  video must remain publicly accessible on the office’s website
  149  for at least 5 years after the date of the event. Such videos
  150  must also be permanently preserved within, and made available to
  151  the public through, the library of the state university that
  152  hosted the event.
  153         (4) At the discretion of the board of trustees of a state
  154  university and the Board of Governors, the Board of Governors
  155  may assign the duties of the office to an existing
  156  administrative office within the state university rather than
  157  establish a satellite office. The state university must appoint
  158  a Director of Public Policy Events. The Director of Public
  159  Policy Events and his or her staff are responsible for the
  160  duties and reporting responsibilities of the office.
  161         (5) Each satellite office shall report directly to either
  162  the state university’s office that is responsible for compiling
  163  and reporting the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data
  164  System’s graduation rate survey or Office of General Counsel.
  165         (6) Each debate, group forum, and individual lecture
  166  organized by the office must be open to all students, faculty,
  167  and staff of the state university and, unless restricting
  168  attendance to such event is necessary to achieve a compelling
  169  governmental interest, to the general public.
  170         Section 4. Present subsection (4) of section 1004.097,
  171  Florida Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (5), and a new
  172  subsection (4) is added to that section, to read:
  173         1004.097 Free expression on campus.—
  174         (4)(a) A public institution of higher education may not:
  175         1. Require or solicit a person to complete a political
  176  loyalty test as a condition of employment or admission into, or
  177  promotion within, such institution.
  178         2. Give preferential consideration to a person for
  179  employment by, admission into, or promotion within the
  180  institution for an opinion or actions in support of:
  181         a. A partisan, a political, or an ideological set of
  182  beliefs; or
  183         b. Another person or group of persons based on the person’s
  184  or group’s race or ethnicity or support of an ideology or
  185  movement identified under sub-subparagraph (b)1.a.
  186         (b)1. A political loyalty test includes compelling,
  187  requiring, or soliciting a person to identify commitment to or
  188  to make a statement of personal belief in support of:
  189         a. Any ideology or movement that promotes the differential
  190  treatment of a person or a group of persons based on race or
  191  ethnicity, including an initiative or a formulation of
  192  diversity, equity, and inclusion beyond upholding the equal
  193  protection of the laws guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the
  194  United States Constitution or a theory or practice that holds
  195  that systems or institutions upholding the equal protection of
  196  the laws guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the United States
  197  Constitution are racist, oppressive, or otherwise unjust; or
  198         b. A specific partisan, political, or ideological set of
  199  beliefs.
  200         2. A political loyalty test does not include fidelity to,
  201  or an oath or effort taken to uphold, the United States
  202  Constitution or the State Constitution.
  203         (c) The State Board of Education and the Board of Governors
  204  may adopt rules and regulations, respectively, to implement this
  205  subsection and establish penalties for a willful violation of
  206  this section.
  207         (d) If any provision of this subsection or its application
  208  to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity
  209  does not affect other provisions or applications of this
  210  subsection or chapter which can be given effect without the
  211  invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions
  212  of this subsection are severable.
  213         Section 5. Present subsection (5) of section 1004.26,
  214  Florida Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (6), and a new
  215  subsection (5) is added to that section, to read:
  216         1004.26 University student governments; the Florida Student
  217  Association.—
  218         (5)(a) The Florida Student Association is designated as the
  219  nonprofit advocacy organization serving the needs of the
  220  students of the State University System. If the Florida Student
  221  Association fails to meet the requirements of this section, the
  222  Chancellor of the State University System must designate an
  223  equivalent nonprofit advocacy organization to serve the needs of
  224  the students of the State University System with the approval of
  225  the Board of Governors.
  226         (b) The Florida Student Association shall be governed by a
  227  board of directors. The membership of the board of directors
  228  shall be composed of the 12 student body presidents of the state
  229  universities. The board of directors shall annually elect a
  230  chair from among the board’s members. The chair shall also serve
  231  as president of the association.
  232         (c) The Florida Student Association shall adopt bylaws to
  233  establish:
  234         1. A due process for the removal or impeachment of the
  235  president of the association. Such due process must provide that
  236  the president of the association may be removed by the majority
  237  vote of members of the board of directors. The grounds for
  238  removal of the president of the association are limited to
  239  malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, incompetence,
  240  permanent inability to perform official duties, or conviction of
  241  a felony.
  242         2. Procedures for the suspension and removal of the
  243  president of the association following the conviction of a
  244  felony.
  245         3. Procedures for a president of the association who has
  246  been disciplined, suspended, or removed from his or her position
  247  to directly appeal such decision to the Vice Chancellor for
  248  Academic and Student Affairs for the Board of Governors. The
  249  bylaws may not place any condition precedent on the exercise of
  250  such right granted by this paragraph, and the association may
  251  not elect a new president until the exhaustion of the appeals
  252  process or any other due process rights afforded by this
  253  section.
  254         Section 6. This act shall take effect July 1, 2023.