Survey: 40 percent of Florida college employees, 25 percent of students intimidated to share views on campus

by | Aug 27, 2022

  • A statewide college campus survey found an alarming number of students and employees were “intimidated” to share their views on campus
  • About 35 percent of student respondents don’t feel comfortable speaking up about any controversial topic
  • One-third of college employees say their institutions don’t provide an equally tolerant environment
  • One-quarter of all students responding to the survey say their professors push their personal ideologies without allowing objective discussion of opposing views
  • By contrast, just four percent of professors admit sharing any personal political views at all

The results of a survey of students and employees across Florida’s college and university campuses are in, and they’re not pretty. More than 28 percent of Florida college students who responded to the survey say they felt intimidated to share their ideas or political opinions because they are different from their professors, and roughly the same number say their professors use class time to discuss their own social or political beliefs without objectively discussing opposing beliefs. Professors, however, largely deny pushing their personal political views in the classroom.

But the students aren’t alone in their views. College and university employees who responded to the survey, of which about 70 percent work outside the classroom, revealed the problem is even worse than students say, with more than 40 percent of those reporting they feel intimidated to share their views on campus, and more than a third said their schools don’t provide an environment that is equally tolerant and welcoming of both conservative and liberal beliefs.

The survey received 8,835 responses from college students across the state, while 9,238 college and university employees responded. Of those, 2,820 (30 percent) were classroom instructors or professors. The surveys were sent to more than 368,000 students and 98,000 campus employees. The left-leaning United Faculty of Florida, a union for college instructors and faculty members, encouraged students and professors to ignore the survey, and the group has led the charge in criticizing the results because of the low response rate.

Still, the preliminary findings include an alarming number of respondents – one quarter of all students returning the survey – saying they do not see regular examples of free and welcomed expression in class, while one out of every five students say they don’t feel free to express their ideas, opinions or beliefs anywhere on campus. On controversial subjects, 35 percent say they don’t feel comfortable speaking up or sharing their personal views.

Ideological indoctrination from professors is also a significant concern. One in four student respondents say their professor uses class time to discuss their own social or political beliefs without objectively discussing opposing beliefs. Notably, 79 percent of college instructors and professors responding to the survey claim they never inject their personal political views into class discussions, while just 4 percent acknowledge doing so. The remaining 17 percent declined to provide a meaningful response to the question.

Seventy-five percent of students in the survey say that the views expressed by instructors and professors are liberal, while just 9 percent say the predominant views are conservative and about 12 percent say the predominant view is something else. Responses from employees largely corroborated the students’ views, with 67 percent describing the predominant ideology on campus as “liberal.” About 21 percent of college employees self-identify as conservative.

The survey found that 40 percent of all students responding believe that their campus is more tolerant of liberal ideas, while another forty percent see their campus as “equally tolerant.” Just eight percent report that their school is more tolerant of conservative ideas.

Review the full report here:

Florida University Viewpoint Diversity Survey



  1. Nancy Tomaselli

    The survey was designed by the governor to achieve a result that would support his conservative agenda so that he can control academia like he’s trying to control Independent thinking in all aspects of life in Florida. It is a dangerous tool deliberately designed to be misused.

    • Manuel P. Asensio

      The harm and danger is exclusively on the radical left who have deliberately and maliciously ruined academic values as they destroyed the law and truth in American with their fabrications about sex, race, and equality. Equality is not a virtue or value. Enough is Enough. Woke, CRT, BLM and Project 1629 are political nonsense and legal absurdities created by violating the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and reason and all concepts of truth and justice.

      If you want to live in a country without borders, under a government without limits, leave America. America was founded to protect its citizens from your ideas and values.

    • theunvanquishedtruth

      The only people who are being persecuted on college campuses for their beliefs are conservatives. Their is no freedom of speech. When a student at a Deltona college spoke out against the indoctrination by his Muslim professor and her anti-Christian statements, she reported to the college that she felt “unsafe” with him in his class. No one conducted an anonymous review of her class remarks, they just removed him from this class that he needed to graduate and almost kicked him out of the college two semesters from graduation. Fortunately, he found a group to help him challenge this ruling. They claimed that her anti-Christian, anti-American remarks were “protected speech”. The problem was you were attacked if you countered her comments with factual statements!

      Conservative students are verbally and even physically attacked if they set up a booth alongside other groups and the campus police rarely respond!

  2. Paul G

    A look at the data reveals that a whopping 0.67% of students feel intimidated. Hardly a measure that rises to an “alarming number!”

    • krakkerlogik

      Art5icle states…”More than 28 percent of Florida college students who responded to the survey say they felt intimidated to share their ideas or political opinions.” .67% ? You can’t count the students that didn’t respond. You sound like a Dem pollster.

  3. John

    Brian, It’s important to point out that of the 98,704 employees in the State University System only 9,238 (9.36%) responded to the survey. When it came to students, of the 368,120 in the SUS only 8,835 (2.4%) responded to the survey.

    The bottom line is your attempt to inflate the idea that there’s a lack of Academic Freedom in our state’s universities is pretty weak when so few actually answered the survey. Cherry picking from a survey with few participants is a disingenuous and wrong. It’s just another example of why maga republicans need to be voted out.

  4. Christopher

    Whoa!!! You guys really choked on the data set!! A response number of a whoping 2.4% of students! I would imagine most of them were whiney disgruntled conservatives.

    • Brian Burgess

      The response number is irrelevant unless you have evidence to show that one specific set of people chose not to respond. Otherwise, with a sample size this large, it would be possible to take a random sample of the results and project those onto the student and employee population as a whole.

      But I’m guess you don’t want to do that.

      • John

        Brian, The response number is quite relevant when you write a headline saying:
        Survey: 40 percent of Florida college employees, 25 percent of students intimidated to share views on campus

        It’s a lie and very misleading. Maybe you should’ve spent more time in college learning math and less time in political science. I’m questioning whether you finished high school after reading your maga Republican fairytale.

  5. dmmorrison

    I too, grew up in sheltered, mostly conservative part of my state. When I got to college, I too was intimidated by my professors and unsettled by their ideas. Eventually, I realized they were right.

    • Anonymous

      So, you are a victim of leftist indoctrination. It is a shame your values were replaced by leftist schemes. You should be examined to determine what caused you to have such a weak character?

  6. Jim

    The numbers reported here for students are based on a tiny, non-representative sliver of the SUS population (2.4%) that decided to respond to an online survey. No legitimate market research firm or political polling organization would stand behind such a “sloppy” study. Otherwise, they would soon be out of business. Above all, this methodologically flawed exercise by the Board of Governors clearly does not meet its statutory charge to conduct a “statistically valid survey” of viewpoints on campus.

      • Manuel P. Asensio

        I agree. Its nonsense. Asking the indoctrinated if they feel indoctrinated. How stupid. Its like asking a man who competes with women to speak about sexual identity politics.

  7. Anonymous

    How about sticking to competent governance. We need a statesman to handle state business, not dictator.

  8. Stephanie

    I did not respond to this survey because it was biased toward the result DeSantis wanted. I know that university unions discouraged their members from participating.

  9. dolphincritic

    I am very happy to see this many people comment! The reality is that workers and students don’t have a right to comment about their views. Teachers need to provide comprehensive facts and views. Students need to be able to ask questions relevant to the material being presented. Teachers need to let the students know what portion of their lectures will be on the test. Students need to take notes and regurgitate the teachers lectures on the test. That’s how you make the dean’s list. There is a broad gulf between what you think and what some left-wing professor thinks. A big portion of learning is critical thinking! Know both sides of any issue and know how to apply it. Students must rethink where they go to school. Is the price you are paying for your degree a good investment? Don’t believe what the university advertises, research the true value of your degree.

    In the workplace, we don’t discuss politics or religion. If you have an a–hole for a boss, just show up on time, do your job and smile. If the boss asks you what you think about politics or religion, simply notify him you don’t discuss those issues. You might lie a bit and let the boss know that they are a giant in your eyes. Modest brown nosing is a skill most of us use to manage the brass. Unions help by creating buffers between those displaying poor conduct and those being harassed.

  10. MathGuyCarl

    The law said the survey results had to be statistically valid. So you ignore the more factual reason for low media coverage: the response rate invalidated the data bc by all objective standards, the response rate was too low to be statistically valid.

    The law also required the survey to be designed and administered by a neutral third party. You fail to note the party pulled out halfway, citing GOP interference and pressure to ask leading and non objective questions. With a shadow group — a totally in transparent mystery group — behind it, the survey did not meet the requirements set forth in the bill.

    Finally, you want students to have a voice, but anyone can cherry-pick a small number of workers and students who feel pressure to conform. But this pressure is also self inflicted. Students feel pressure to conform in fraternities, sororities, in their workplace. New students are navigating being out of their parents’ house for the first time and may feel worried about sticking out for many reasons: few wish to stand alone. There are thus so many moments in campus life when maturing young adults might admit that they feel uncomfortable standing out or expressing opinions…. Communist teachers are hardly the most compelling explanation for their survey answers!!

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