News Coverage

Tallahassee Democrat (10/06/21) Free speech survey of Florida college students continues to rile critics, even ‘Doonesbury’ An “intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity assessment” in the works to investigate political speech on Florida’s public university and college campuses continues to cause controversy. 

Inside Higher ED (10/04/21) : St. Petersburg College Faculty Unionize Leaders of the union campaign said faculty rights at the community college have eroded.

Tampa Bay Times (10/01/21): St. Petersburg College faculty vote to unionize Faculty members at St. Petersburg College have voted 193-56 to establish a union, forming the 34th chapter of the United Faculty of Florida.

Telemundo 49 (30/9/21): Exigen más medidas contra el COVID-19 en USF Un grupo de estudiantes y empleados de la universidad dicen que es tiempo que líderes de la universidad deben exigir el uso de máscaras o vacunación. [ hable en español – 0:00-2:10]

Bay News 9 – Spectrum News (9/29/21): Faculty, students demand more COVID safety protocols at USF Upgraded ventilation and air conditioning improvements in all buildings is one of the things United Faculty of Florida and Graduate Assistants United at USF are pushing for.

WTSP Channel 10 Tampa Bay (9/29/21): University of South Florida faculty and students demand stricter COVID-19 protocols Thursday, some students and faculty members at the University of South Florida will participate in a rally demanding more be done to keep them safe on campus. The event is being organized by graduate assistants Krystle Lemonias and Marlon Wilson, who are also organizers of the USF chapter of the union, Graduate Assistants United.

Florida Phoenix (9/24/21): New college survey for “intellectual freedom” has already spawned a lawsuit “Any law that relies on the good will of legislators and politicians over the protections of the Constitution is not a good law,” said Andrew Gothard, the UFF president. 

AFT (9/23/21): Florida humanities faculty fear for the profession “If they can dismiss someone with Dr. Walton’s credentials without a reason, then nobody is comfortable about their jobs going forward,” said former chapter president and biology professor Debra Hicks, in an interview with the Orlando Weekly.

WMFE 90.7 (NPR) (9/09/21): Interview: Professor And Union Negotiator On Lake-Sumter State College’s Decision To Fire Him Lake-Sumter State College has fired one of the faculty’s chief negotiators working on their first union contract with the college this summer.

MyCBS4 News (Gainesville) (9/09/21): Alachua County pushes UF and Santa Fe College to require masks Cornell pointed out County Commissioners received testimony from UF experts recommending masking as an effective tool to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

WGFL CBS 4 (Gainesville) (9/08/21): United Faculty of Florida seeking public records regarding COVID safety The UFF said in an effort to safeguard the health of Florida public universities and state college students and staff, they sent a request for public records to Governor DeSantis’ office, the State Board of Education, the Board of Governors, and to more than 24 university and college administrators.

Orlando Sentinel (9/07/21): Reinstate Lake-Sumter State College professor, whose dismissal stinks of union-busting | Editorial No wonder Lake-Sumter’s faculty voted overwhelmingly in 2018 to form a union, over the opposition from college administration.

The Florida Channel (9/02/21): News Briefing [Video] A circuit court judge issued a written ruling in the school mask case, barring the DeSantis administration from banning mask mandates or seeking to punish local school boards that adopt such mandates [0:00- 1:03].

Orlando Weekly (8/31/21): Florida university leaders say their ‘hands are tied’ and they cannot mandate masks A day earlier, Graduate Assistants United, a union of Florida State University graduate assistants, led a small march through campus to demand more-stringent measures.

Spectrum News 1 (8/30/21): Florida State University president shoots down calls for campus mask mandate “I will not be able to live with myself if I have to bury one of my students or colleagues this year or, God forbid, they have to bury one of their children,” GAU member Roxie Brookshire told the board.

Sun-Sentinel (8/30/21): Florida universities face constraints amid COVID surge Robert Cassanello, president of the United Faculty of Florida union at the University of Central Florida… “We would like to follow the brave school boards of Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties who have defied mask policies in the state and defied the governor,” Cassanello said.

Spectrum News 13 (8/27/21): UCF faculty union concerned about COVID-19 pandemic safety measures United Faculty of Florida at UCF president Robert Cassanello points to UCF’s COVID decision triggers list. This list outlines what would cause the university to increase restrictions, such as virtual learning. Last year’s list also included case numbers.

Public News Service (8/27/21): FL Supporters Amplify Need for Biden’s Free Community College Plan During a Thursday virtual news conference by the labor union United Faculty of Florida, Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla., said the change would make drastic improvements in students’ lives, who are often saddled with debt.

Florida Politics (8/26/21): ‘A game changer’: Florida Dems, faculty union back Joe Biden free college plan Soto spoke Thursday with Florida Sen. Janet Cruz of Tampa and Rep. Tracie Davis of Jacksonville, who joined United Faculty of Florida President Andrew Gothard and UFF organizer Adela Ghadimi to discuss the plan.

The Independent Florida Alligator (8/25/21): UF disappoints students and faculty: then and now Frankly, many faculty and graduate assistants have felt frustrated and disrespected during these times. Article written By Steven Kirn, Co-chair of combined UFF-UF/GAU COVID Task Force.

WPTV 5 – West Palm Beach (8/23/21): Florida Atlantic University faculty hold rally, petition administration to take action against COVID-19 “We are very unhappy with the lack of a mask mandate. We are unhappy with the lack of vaccinations sites on campus, and we are unhappy with not having the option of putting our classes fully online,” said Deandre Poole, United Faculty of Florida-FAU president.

The Independent Florida Alligator (8/23/21): ACPS returns to an uncertain Fall, P.K. Yonge remains mask-optional as youth COVID-19 cases surge “All students have a right to safe spaces for education,” according to the United Faculty of Florida at UF letter. “Local schools and campuses need to be empowered to make decisions that protect their students, faculty and staff.”

University Press (8/23/21): UFF-FAU holds protest against university administration’s response to COVID-19 safety protocols The FAU chapter of the United Faculty of Florida, better known as UFF-FAU, organized the protest to demand changes in the university’s COVID-19 safety policy.

Miami New Times (8/23/21): FIU Professors Sign Letter Demanding Vaccine and Mask Mandates Martha Meyer, a professor and president of FIU’s chapter of the United Faculty of Florida, says instructors are especially concerned that state universities are returning to normal amid Florida’s record-breaking wave of COVID-19 cases and reports that the Delta variant is linked to more severe cases in younger people.

WCJB 20 – Gainesville, FL (8/21/21): University of Florida faculty want to join Alachua County Public Schools in mandating masks for students and staff Officials with the United Faculty of Florida at UF are pushing university leaders to follow suit by requiring masks on campus. “I’m asking the University of Florida, don’t take a leap of faith do the right thing,” said UFF-UF Co-President Paul Ortiz.

University Press (8/21/21) : FAU’s United Faculty of Florida chapter to hold on-campus protest The FAU chapter of the United Faculty of Florida (UFF), a faculty union, will protest against the universities’ lack of action in response to Covid-19 on the first full-day back on campus.

redefinED (8/12/21): BROWARD GIVEN UNTIL FRIDAY TO REVERSE MASK MANDATE, PINELLAS SCHOOL BOOSTS GRADE FROM F TO A, AND MORE The United Faculty of Florida is calling on Gov. DeSantis to require face masks on all state college and university campuses. Tallahassee Democrat.

Tampa Bay Times (8/20/21) : Florida universities need more power to protect against COVID, faculty say “I’m sorry, but you don’t play with people’s safety and lives,” Manning said. “I think it’s fantastically irresponsible, given the extraordinary virulence of the delta variant.”

NEA Today (8/18/21) : Florida Faculty Fighting for Free Speech and Ideas  “The goal is to intimidate faculty and students into holding one political viewpoint, and that would be the viewpoint of the political party in power,” says Andrew Gothard, president of the United Faculty of Florida, the statewide NEA-affiliated faculty union.

Tallahassee Democrat (8/12/21): FAMU President Larry Robinson: Masks ‘expected’ in buildings on campus The president of the United Faculty of Florida sent a letter to DeSantis Wednesday, urging him to mandate indoor use of masks, to require all students…

WJXT News4Jax (8/12/21): UNF faculty members call for teaching flexibility as delta variant spreads News4Jax asked Elizabeth Brown, vice president of United Faculty of Florida, about the rally’s objective. “The goal today is to allow faculty some…

UNF Spinnaker (8/11/21): UNF faculty responds to the announcement of Szymanski’s new role with a call to focus on the pandemic Spinnaker also reached out to the United Faculty of Florida (UFF) here at UNF to hear their thoughts on this big news, and they released the following…

The Crow’s Nest (8/11/21): Students “strongly urged” to abide COVID-19 precautions, faculty uncertain According to Business Professor Robert Welker, USF members of the United Faculty of Florida union will discuss a bargaining proposal with university 

Fox13Today Tampa Bay (8/11/21): Faculty union wants mask mandate on Florida college campuses The United Faculty of Florida is asking Gov. Ron DeSantis to call for a mask mandate on all college and university campuses in the state. The federal…

WCJB.COM (8/11/21) : The United Faculty of Florida is asking the Governor and Universities to set more COVID-19 protocols The United Faculty of Florida is calling on the Governor and State Universities to institute more COVID-19 protocols. The union wants all…

Tallahassee Democrat (8/11/21): Statewide faculty union urging masks, vaccines, online classes on Florida campuses “No one should have to choose between their lives and their education or paycheck,” union’s leader says.”

News Service of Florida (08/05/21) : ‘Intellectual Freedom’ Law Faces Constitutional Challenge

WLRN 91.3FM (8/05/21): https://www.wlrn.org/news/2021-08-05/florida-intellectual-freedom-law-faces-constitutional-challenge The United Faculty of Florida on Wednesday joined the lawsuit, which was filed last month in federal court in Tallahassee. 

WTSP (Ch​.10) Tampa-St​. Petersburg (8/04/21): Florida university union joins lawsuit against state’s ‘intellectual diversity’ law …challenging a recent law that calls for a survey of beliefs of university and college professors. United Faculty of Florida announced it would join other students and faculty members in challenging the ‘intellectual..

WCJB (ABC)-Gainesville (8/04/21) : United Faculty of Florida joins lawsuit filed by public colleges …representing staff at UF and other universities is joining a lawsuit challenging a new state law. United Faculty of Florida is joining the lawsuit first filed by faculty members and students at public colleges…

Inside Higher Ed (8/03/21): Cries of Union Busting at a Florida College Lake-Sumter State College in Florida opposed the unionization of its full-time faculty. Then it refused to meet with the new union virtually for contract negotiations during the pandemic.

Orlando Weekly (7/28/21): Lake-Sumter State College faculty on edge after the sudden dismissal of a tenured professor and key union member  LSSC’s United Faculty of Florida has been recognized by the school following an election.  They see a precedent that could tear up the very foundation of higher ed employment and make union actions little more than a pipe dream.

88.5 WMNF (11/11/20) Following end of federal oversight, a Catholic University in Florida said it will no longer recognize faculty union, leaving teachers vulnerable Faculty at Saint Leo University in Pasco County are worried about job security and other protections after a surprise decision from the school’s board of trustees stripped them of union protection.

Inside Higher ED (11/10/20) Against Face-to-Face Teaching Mandates In Florida, for instance, faculty unions at three public universities… are filing grievances against their institutions regarding in-person instruction. These actions follow other forms of outreach by professors to their administrations.

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