Article 23 Salaries

This is a reminder tomorrow (November 10) there will be another bargaining session. UCF responded to our 3.5% increase by stating they will stay at their 2.5% raise offer. You can read their draft article here.

We will respond to them at the bargaining session which will be tomorrow November 10 at 1:30pm. You can join us by Zoom at this link.

Academic Freedom and UF

I know many of you have been keeping up with events at the University of Florida where three professors were declined in their conflict of interest forms to act as expert witnesses in a legal case against Florida voting legislation. They are all experts in the field and UF initially determined that they would represent a conflict since the fortunes of the university are tied up with those of state government. The President of UF reversed himself on Friday. You can read about the latest in this here.

The UCF Faculty Senate met last Thursday and passed a resolution titled “On a Violation of Academic Freedom Within the Florida State University System.” During this discussion the UCF Faculty Senate Chair said Interim Provost Michael Johnson believes faculty should testify as expert witnesses even if it is against the state and there has been no policy at UCF to prohibit faculty from testifying even if it has been against the state. You can see the resolution and debate surrounding the issue here at the UCF Faculty Senate recording

Florida Legislative Update

I received an update from UFF that there is no current draft bill abolishing or revising tenure pending in any committee with the Florida legislature. This does not mean there eventually will not be one, it just means at the moment there is not one.

SB 242: Racial and Sexual Discrimination which targets anti-racism training and prohibits “divisive concepts” or race and sex “scapegoating” would impact college and university campuses statewide should this become legislation. It is now in the Judiciary; Governmental Oversight and Accountability; Rules Committees.

HB 6007: Licenses to Carry Concealed Weapons or Firearms would allow open carry on campus. This draft bill has been filed with the Criminal Justice & Public Safety Subcommittee.

SB 520: Public Records and Public Meetings which would allow university president searches to remain outside of public view and scrutiny. It has been referred to the Education; Governmental Oversight and Accountability and the Rules Committees.

HB 6055: Postsecondary Out-of-State Fee Waivers This draft bill would not allow any out of state waivers for students at public Florida colleges and universities. It is now with the  Post-Secondary Education & Lifelong Learning Subcommittee.

There is some interest in an “Intellectual Freedom” Bill which would repeal HB 233 the “Intellectual Diversity” legislation passed in the last legislative session. The draft legislation does not have a bill number yet.

Robert Cassanello
UFF-UCF, President