Florida Board Chair Defends Stance on Professors Testifying

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The chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Florida on Friday defended the university’s stance, since abandoned, that professors could not testify in a trial on the state’s new election law, The Gainesville Sun reported.

Morteza Hosseini said, “We saw that some [faculty] have taken advantage of their positions. I am speaking here of faculty members taking second jobs using the university’s state resources for their own personal gain. I am speaking about faculty members who use their positions of authority to improperly advocate personal political viewpoints to the exclusion of others.”

Paul Ortiz, the president of the faculty union, in an email to newspaper, said, “This statement is an insult to the faculty who, under great duress, have guided the institution through the most challenging crisis in its history during the global pandemic. We expect an immediate apology. The statement was written by an individual or individuals who do not understand the role of intellectual freedom in a democratic society. The United Faculty of Florida is dedicated to creating a university that works in the interests of the entire public and not just the whims of the Thought Police in Tallahassee.”

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