Florida's unpopular tea party governor, Rick Scott, wants more of the state's youths to pick up college degrees... but only if the degrees are useful to corporations and don't teach students to question social norms. "You know what? They need to get education in areas where they can get jobs," Scott told a right-wing radio host Monday morning. He continued:
"You know, we don't need a lot more anthropologists in the state. It's a great degree if people want to get it, but we don't need them here. I want to spend our dollars giving people science, technology, engineering, math degrees. That's what our kids need to focus all their time and attention on. Those type of degrees. So when they get out of school, they can get a job."
It's no idle sound bite. The governor, an ex-corporate CEO with a checkered business past, is pushing a plan that would all but kill liberal arts and social sciences at the Sunshine State's public universities—and he's got support from the Legislature's psychology-hatin' GOP majority. He explained the strategy Monday in a separate interview with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune:
Scott said Monday that he hopes to shift more funding to science, technology, engineering and math departments, the so-called "STEM" disciplines. The big losers: Programs like psychology and anthropology and potentially schools like New College in Sarasota that emphasize a liberal arts curriculum.
"If I'm going to take money from a citizen to put into education then I’m going to take that money to create jobs," Scott said. "So I want that money to go to degrees where people can get jobs in this state."
"Is it a vital interest of the state to have more anthropologists? I don't think so."