We will be negotiating a Salary MOU on Thursday, May 12 @ 11:00 am. The bargaining session will be on Zoom and public.
The Zoom information to watch the session will be here.
We do not have any specifics to share with you because those can only come out in a public bargaining session. I will update everyone after the session.
As you may have heard, our respective institutions will be distributing an ideological viewpoint survey, which requests that all faculty, staff, and students respond and share not only their own political and religious viewpoints but what they perceive to be the viewpoints of their friends, colleagues, and classmates.
The United Faculty of Florida encourages all higher education faculty, staff, and students to ignore the voluntary “Viewpoint Discrimination” survey for the following reasons:
- Florida’s government has no right to know the thoughts, feelings, or political or religious beliefs of anyone, including the higher education community. Privacy is the bedrock of democracy and a safeguard against autocratic control.
- Ignoring this survey is an act that protects individuals of all political persuasions, now and into the future. This survey would not pass ‘validity tests’ in any institutional review process, as there is no way to ensure that responses will reflect the demographics of the institution. It is not worthy of time away from our teaching and research.
- The specificity of the survey’s demographic questions allows for targeting of faculty, particularly minority faculty, and can be used to attack tenure.
- Many of the survey’s questions are leading in nature and imply that there is a problem of viewpoint fairness on our campuses already–this is a conclusion searching for evidence, rather than the other way around.
- Many of the survey’s questions ask respondents to report on what they believe their colleagues and students think and how they are behaving on campus. Surveillance has no place in Florida’s higher education system.
- The survey will cause a chilling effect on freedom of speech and freedom of association on campus because faculty, staff, and students will be wondering whether their words and deeds will be reported to those in power.
- Governor DeSantis and other legislators have threatened to defund or otherwise punish campuses whose responses do not match the appropriate ideology. This is not a standard of leadership or behavior that any member of Florida’s higher education community should support.
For these reasons and more, UFF discourages participation in the survey, and we encourage you and all members of the Florida higher education system to join our fight to protect the freedoms of the faculty, staff, and students who make our campuses such wonderful places to live, learn, and grow.
UFF, your faculty union, has been fighting this law since it was first proposed. Now our fight is in federal court, and one of our main concerns has been that by its very nature this survey is an infringement upon the basic rights of all Floridians to freedom of speech, freedom of association, and the basic right to privacy, regardless of a person’s background or political persuasion and without intimidation from the political party currently in power. Join us! We are stronger together.
Andrew Gothard, Ph.D.
United Faculty of Florida
The Collective Bargaining Agreement 2021-2024 was passed by the UCF Board of Trustees on March 17. The CBA is now online on the UFF-UCF website.
View Point Diversity Survey
If you want to consult our guidance on the View Point Diversity Survey you can do so here.
On March 31, 2022, we expect UCF to announce that the View Point Diversity Survey will be available starting April 4 and remain open until April 8. The UFF-UCF Council is concerned that this survey and the legislative atmosphere in which it passed intrude on academic freedom in our classrooms and across our campuses.
We also object to the assumption of this survey that faculty represent only our personal political beliefs in our curriculum and teaching. Faculty respect the professional obligation to teach many perspectives, including perspectives we might not personally share. Claims of indoctrination are political rather than factual, and disregard the ethics of faculty without evidence.
The UFF-UCF Council is uncertain of the value of participating in the survey. We expect that many lawmakers in Tallahassee will use the results of the survey to encroach even more on our classrooms and threaten academic freedom. The best advice we can offer is that you abstain from participating in this voluntary activity.
You should be informed of your rights:
- The survey is voluntary, i.e. participation is not mandatory so you have a right not to participate. If you get an email or hear from a supervisor that this survey is mandatory, please know such assertions are not true. Please document such emails or exchanges and forward them to UFF-UCF at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will address any misinformation or confusion. You are within your legal and workplace rights not to take the survey.
- Remember that no online survey is truly anonymous, particularly to the people and the institution conducting the survey. You have a right to privacy and there is no guarantee that information about your answers will be kept private. We do not know how the survey will be distributed but we anticipate some provisions to verify respondents are connected to a Florida public college or university. For example, you may be asked to sign in through a campus email, making your work email address the entry point and identifier for your individual responses. The law mandates that the survey is anonymous, however, it cannot be separated from some variable identifying you as a university participant. Even if a third party conducts the survey, pressure can be placed on that third party to reveal names or identifying data. Finally, your responses may be subject to a public records request. Thus soon after or years later your identifying information, which would include your political beliefs, conservative, liberal, or moderate can be disclosed in a public records request.
- You have the right to be informed about the intentions behind this survey and how it is likely to be used. Please remember the political atmosphere in which this legislation was conceived. Here is an interview with Representative Anthony Sabatini, a co-sponsor of this law. When asked about the View Point Diversity Survey (Begins at 5:45), he says, “It takes a first initial step. Which is to conduct a survey telling people what is, to be honest, what we already know, that is we lost these campuses to the radical left. Ninety-nine percent of these professors are radical leftists.”
The UFF-UCF Council believes that no matter the results of the survey, the narrative of “indoctrination” is already an article of faith with many lawmakers in Tallahassee, and this survey will not change the mind of someone like Representative Sabatini, the architect of this legislation. Provosts around the state are encouraging their faculty to participate in this survey because they argue that this survey can challenge the “indoctrination” myth perpetuated by politicians in Tallahassee. We think this argument is naive because whatever the results show, it seems likely that those results will be used to reinforce this false assumption.
The UFF-UCF Council opposes the View Point Diversity Survey because we believe this survey violates rights to privacy and academic freedom. We also understand that the impetus and implications of this survey are political and undermine faculty ethics and professionalism. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us at email@example.com.