A recent survey of University of Florida (UF) faculty showed that faculty morale and confidence in the school was low, with almost half having concerns about academic freedom and more than 67% saying they somewhat or strongly disagreed that they could openly express dissenting opinions about UF’s policies without fear of reprisal.
This comes after a year of tension over academic freedom and faculty autonomy at the school.
The survey was sent to 2,000 faculty in the bargaining unit and received 623 responses.
Confidence in the UF administration was not very present. 65% expressed concerns that administrators were not held accountable and 74% expressed concerns over whether the UF board of trustees ensured that UF was free from undue political influence. Approximately 70% expressed lack of confidence that the board will select a president who prioritized academic, scholarly, and faculty interests.
The sentiment to leave UF was also present in the majority of faculty. If personal factors did not keep them at UF, more than 63% said they somewhat or strongly agreed that they would leave if offered a comparable job elsewhere.
UF spokesperson Cynthia Roldan said the board was not aware of the survey’s origins and could not comment on specifics.
“Generally speaking, however, the university has repeatedly expressed its support for the First Amendment rights and academic freedom of our faculty,” Roldan said. “Additionally, we routinely engage faculty directly when it comes to crafting policies that are consistent with those of other public universities in the state of Florida.”