State eases Jewish student transfers

by | Jan 9, 2024

Chancellor Ray Rodrigues of the State University System of Florida issued an emergency order to facilitate the transfer of Jewish students and others facing religious discrimination to Florida universities, waiving certain requirements like credit-hour minimums and application deadlines.

State university system Chancellor Ray Rodrigues on Tuesday issued an emergency order that would help Jewish students from other states transfer to Florida universities if they have a “well-founded fear” of anti-Semitism at their current campuses.

Rodrigues, who cited an increased number of anti-Semitic incidents at schools, made the announcement after Gov. Ron DeSantis raised the issue in his State of the State address to start the 2024 legislative session. The order also indicated it would apply to other forms of religious discrimination.

Rodrigues wrote in the order that it is designed to “remove barriers for undergraduate students who are seeking to transfer to a Florida university because of a well-founded fear of antisemitic or other religious discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or violence at an out-of-state, degree-granting, accredited institution, within the United States.”

Under the order, certain requirements, such as transfer students having a minimum number of credit hours, would be waived. A news release from DeSantis’ office said that such credit-hour requirements would “typically be a hurdle for otherwise academically eligible first- and second-year postsecondary students.”

The order also directed universities’ boards of trustees to waive application-date deadlines for students seeking transfers because of religious discrimination.

“With leaders of so-called elite universities enabling antisemitic activities, rather than protecting their students from threats and harassment, it is understandable that many Jewish students are looking for alternatives and looking to Florida,” DeSantis said in a prepared statement.

The news release from DeSantis’ office said he also has directed the state college system to provide the same flexibility.


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