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University of Florida professor files academic freedom grievance after critical race curriculum was barred

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 12:21 AM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -The University of Florida is facing new accusations that they limited the academic freedom of professors this time over “critical race theory”. A UF professor has filed an academic freedom grievance against the university.

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According to the grievance, UF Associate Professor Chris Busey was asked to change the title of his curriculum, which is on “Critical Studies in Race, Ethnicity, and Culture”. Specifically, Busey said leadership in the College of Education would not approve anything with “critical” and “race” in the title.

The grievance details meetings on Sept. 28, Oct. 18, and Oct. 28th where the title of his curriculum was discussed by administrators. University leaders expressed that the College of Education was viewed favorably by the state and they wanted to avoid anything that would jeopardize the relationship with the state.

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At the time, the legislature was debating HB233 and HB57 which addresses the teaching of critical race theory and intellectual freedom.

Busey said he was threatened with discipline if he used “critical race” in his curriculum. The United Faculty of Florida (UFF) argues this “discriminates against faculty on the basis of the content of the material.”

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UF President Kent Fuchs is currently implementing a new conflict of interest policy at the university. The change is in response to backlash over professors being blocked from testifying against the state.

UF released the following statement about the grievance:

“Pursuant to state law, specifically F.S. 1012.91, any grievance matter would be confidential and therefore we are unable to publicly acknowledge whether a grievance has been filed. However, the information in the documents you provided contains a number of inaccuracies, and we will address them through the appropriate processes.”

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