Free UF Coalition advocates for academic freedom as UF Professor files suit against school

Free UF Coalition advocates for academic freedom as UF Professor files suit against school
Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 6:33 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Students, professors said free the University of Florida from what they call censorship from administrators.

The group formed the Free UF Coalition with the United Faculty of Florida and other student groups. They say they’re fighting for First Amendment rights.

“This is a crisis time for academic freedom,” said Professor Dr. Paul Ortiz.

Lawsuits against UF from professors against the University over freedom of speech, critical race theory and providing expert testimony inspired their cause.

RELATED STORY: ‘A significant victory’: UF cannot enforce conflict of interest policy to stop professors from testifying says U.S. Judge

“And we’re trying to emphasize this isn’t just an issue impacting the students and faculty here at UF because right now, as you know, our state has passed a whole raft of laws trying to stop us from talking about issues like racial inequality.”

On top of educating, the group’s goal is to get petitions signed to support their cause, specifically from undergraduate students.

“And that’s the voices they’re most likely to hear so if we have a lot of undergrads signing this petition, ‘said UF student Allan Frasheri. “That’s gonna truly show something to the administration.”

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

UF Professor Richard Burt filed a complaint against the school for violating his First and Fourteenth amendment rights. University staff sent TV20 a response that they won’t comment on open cases.

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