New UCF Draft Travel Policies
There are 5 new draft policies that have been introduced. There are two on travel one to conform to FLA Legislation and the other about use of Concur services to book travel. Please look them over if you travel for work or research and then decide if you wish to provide a comment.
https://policies.ucf.edu/rfc.asp The place to comment is on the right hand part of this page the links below are the draft travel policies.
2-903.3, International Travel
3-205.3 DRAFT Reimbursement for Travel Expenses
If you wish to comment you have until December 16.
UF and Academic Freedom
Some of you have been emailing me about the scandal at the University of Florida concerning the pressure and influence the administration has taken in the freedom of professor to serve as expert witnesses and other state related research. The UF Faculty Senate is engaging in some research there to uncover the extent of these policies. https://www.highereddive.com/news/u-of-florida-stokes-climate-stifling-academic-freedom-faculty-senate-says/611095/
Also a group of professors from UF have organized into the Coalition for Academic Freedom to protest the measures taken against an education professor who used the words “critical” and “race” in their syllabus. You can read about it here.
You should know academic freedom is a right contained in the UCF Collective Bargaining Agreement and if you recall at the November 4th UCF Faculty Senate Meeting Senate Chair Joe Harrington confirmed that both Interim Provost Michael Johnson and VP of Compliance and Risk both confirmed that UCF has never stood in the way of stopping professors to act as expert witnesses even if it is against the state. You can see that here https://youtu.be/_S3jDdaR6zE?t=5661
FLA Legislative Updates
As I have reported the Georgia Legislature is considering a bill to reform tenure and now the South Carolina Legislature has introduced a bill to abolish tenure at public colleges in the state and replace that with a 5 year contract that can be renewed. https://www.highereddive.com/news/south-carolina-lawmakers-propose-ending-tenure-at-states-public-colleges/610483/
There still is no Tenure Draft Bill in the Florida Legislature with the intent to abolish or reform the conditions of tenure. At this point in the legislative calendar it is more unlikely to happen, however it is still possible for a lawmaker to introduce a new draft bill after the 2022 Legislative Session begins. I will keep you posted on this. If you want to hear about about the threat to tenure you can listen to the chapter podcast about it here titled “Episode 8 The Threat to Tenure or It’s Already a Five Alarm Fire People.” It covers the recent history of the threats to tenure since 1998. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2Dawq-PlLE
The draft bills we have been following for you have not moved since I last reported on them. They have been filed so all or some can be taken up by the Legislature when they start meeting again in January of 2022. They are SB 666, HB 6077, SJR 192, SB 520, and SB 242/HB 57.