University of Florida Reverses Decision to Block Professors from Testifying Against State
The University of Florida will allow three political science professors—Sharon Austin, Michael McDonald, and Daniel Smith—to testify unobstructed in a voting rights case, it said in a statement Friday. The decision reverses its initial opposition to their request last week, which it initially claimed would be “adverse to the university’s interests as a state of Florida institution.” The university’s president, Kent Fuchs, also announced he would form a task force comprised of school professors and administrators to review the school’s conflict of interest policy, which was revised in late 2019, in cases where the state is involved.
The decision was praised by the university’s faculty union, which had submitted a list of demands to the school’s administration earlier Friday. “We will continue to hold UF to genuine academic integrity and free speech for all staff, students, and faculty, but we are happy to see this step in the right direction,” it wrote in a statement.